Prescription, Over-the-Counter Medication and Dietary Supplements Don’t Always Get Along

Many medications that once required a prescription are now available over the counter (OTC).  There is a common thought process “if it’s OTC, it’s safe”.  However, this is not always the case.  Even OTC medications and dietary supplements can have interactions with prescription medications, sometimes with dangerous consequences. 

Researchers reviewed medications and conducted interviews of over 2000 elderly patients in 2005-2006 and then again in 2010-2011.  For the purpose of this study, they established “medication use” to mean “prescription or over-the-counter medication or dietary supplement at least daily or weekly.”

They found there was a slight increase from 84% to 87% of the group using at least 1 prescription medication.  Patients taking 5 or more prescriptions increased from 30% to 35%.  Overall the OTC medications declined while the use of dietary supplements increased.  Just as OTC medications can have dangerous interactions with prescription medications, so can some dietary supplements.  In 2010-2011, approximately 15% of the adults studied were at risk for potential major interactions.  This is almost double the rate of 8% that was found in 2005.  It is important to notify your prescribing doctor of any and all medications and supplements you take to avoid potentially dangerous complications. 

Chiropractic, on the other hand, offers drug-free pain relief with no risk of drug interactions.  Regular chiropractic care has been shown to reduce overall health care costs, including the need for medications.  Additionally, many chiropractors have taken additional training, above what is required, in order to better be able to help patients safely navigate the world of dietary supplements.  Why risk side effects and dangerous drug interactions?  Choose #chiropractic1st. 


For more information on the opioid epidemic and how chiropractic can provide a safer alternative, click here:

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 Source: JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(4):473-482 article: Changes in Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medication and Dietary Supplement Use Among Older Adults in the United States, 2005 vs 2011