Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Women--a drug test for you

1. Women are 60% more at risk for side effects than men when mixing medications.
a) True
b) Nah, they love to take pills.

2. The reason(s) women run into more trouble at the medicine cabinet is:

a) They read health articles and go to doctors more.
b) Families are such a headache that they need a satchel of drugs to cope.
c) They are in the grocery store so much going to the pharmacy just takes a sec.
d) They have touchier metabolisms and are swarming with hormones that can change or amp up the effects of drugs and supplements.
e) They are smaller and may be being prescribed too large doses of drugs.

3. Which of these are true?

a) Adverse drug reactions (ADR for short) are a leading cause of illness and account for 7,000 deaths a year (both genders).
b) Older people are more used to taking prescriptions and can tolerate drugs better than young or middle-aged people.
c) They are called health food supplements for a reason—they are healthy for
you no matter what you are taking or what is wrong with you.
d) Women’s kidneys can process anything—look how often they have to “go.”

4. If you are taking a birth control pill, it’s OK to take antibiotics if you need to, such as rifampin, tetracylcine and penicillin.
a) True.
b) Oops, get ready to welcome little Madison or Trent.

5. How about St John’s Wort while on BC pills?
a) The FDA says no.
b) You may be even more depressed if you get pregnant.

6. Feeling depressed and on an selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor and are
still feeling funky? Which of the following might be a good chaser for a
a) Another antidepressant.
b) Ecstasy (just sounds undepressed, doesn’t it?).
c) Pain meds
d) Cocaine

LIFE-SAVING ANSWERS: 1) True, women run into more trouble with the little amber bottles than men. 2) d and e are true, the others kinda insulting. 3) a is the only true statement. Older people have more, not less, trouble processing their fistfuls of meds. Herbs may grow in the ground and thus be considered “natural,” but they also react chemically in the body—otherwise why take them? Many can cause blood not to clot and can change how other medications affect you. And--women’s kidneys are delicate, we’re not talking copper pipes here. 4) BC pills and antibiotics can result in a 9-month surprise. 5) Both a and b are true. The FDA is not thrilled with your taking St John’s Wort while on the Pill because it can undercut the Pill’s contraceptive powers and you know what than can mean. 6) All of these are no-nos with SSRIs. Consult your doctor.

Be honest, you knew cocaine was not going to make the cut, didn’t you?

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