Medicine Information

Common Drugs and Their Uses


The five drugs that are discussed in this article are Ibuprofen which is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is commonly used for relief of Arthritis, Warfarin which is an anticoagulant drug commonly prescribed by doctors to treat venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, to treat or prevent dangerous blood clotting in people with arterial fibrillation and to prevent strokes, a benzodiazepine drug called Diazepam which is commonly prescribed by doctors for relieve nervousness, anxiety, and anxiety disorders, a sulfonylureas drug called Glipizide which is used to help control blood sugar levels and used to treat type 2 diabetes and a thyroid medication called Armour Thyroid which is prescribed for the treatment of hypothyroidism.

Arthritis is a common illness in today's society; doctors prescribe drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for this condition. A common NSAID is Ibuprofen which reduces inflammation, pain and high temperature and is used widely to relieve the symptoms of arthritis. Ibuprofen is available in prescription and nonprescription. As well as rheumatoid arthritis, Ibuprofen is used to treat mild to moderate pain, primary dysmenorrhoea, osteoarthritis, menstrual cramps, bursitis, gout, migraine headaches and fever.

NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen can cause gastrointestinal (GI) irritation, bleeding, iron loss and kidney dysfunction and increased blood potassium levels, especially in older people. Ibuprofen may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision especially when taken with alcohol.

Ibuprofen has adverse results when taken with lithium, sodium and white willow.

Lithium a mineral which is commonly prescribe to treat manic depression, many NSAID's stop the excretion of lithium from the body which results in higher blood lithium levels which in tern can create unwanted side effects and interferes with efficacy. NSAID's should be taken with caution for those people who are taking lithium whether in supplement form or for mood disorders. It is wise to reduce salt intake when taking Ibuprofen because Ibuprofen may cause sodium and water retention.

People who are taking the herb white willow should be aware that links have been made that white willow reduces the blood level of NSAID's.

Warfarin is an anticoagulant drug commonly used to treat venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, treat or prevent dangerous blood clotting in people with arterial fibrillation and to prevent stroke.

Coenzyme Q10, Green tea, Iron, Magnesium, St. John's wort, Vitamin C and Zinc should be avoid when taking Warfarin as they can reduced drug absorption/ bioavailability. Also American ginseng, Asian ginseng, Cranberry, Dan shen, Devil's claw, Dong quai, Fenugreek, Garlic, Ginger, Ginkgo biloba, Horse chestnut, Lycium barbarum, Papain, Quilinggao, Quinine, Red clover, Reishi, Sweet clover, Sweet woodruff, Vitamin D and Vitamin K should be avoided as they can cause dangerous or undesirable results.

The long term of heavy drinking of alcohol can affect the efficiency of warfarin and also certain foods such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, parsley, spinach, which contain high amounts of vitamin K, can interfere with the effectiveness and safety of warfarin.

Known side effects of warfarin are difficulty breathing, closing of the throat, swelling of the lips, tongue, face, hives, black, bloody, or tarry stools, blood in urine or vomit, coughing up blood, bleeding gums or sores in the mouth, decreased urine production, yellowing of the skin or eyes, severe dizziness or headache, easy bleeding or bruising under the skin, purple discoloration of the toes or fingers, sudden leg or foot pain, unusually heavy menstrual periods, excessive gas or bloating, diarrhoea, nausea, or vomiting, hair loss and decreased appetite or weight.

Diazepam is commonly used to relieve nervousness, anxiety, and anxiety disorders. It is in a class of drugs called benzodiazepines which effect chemicals in the brain. People can become physically and psychologically dependent on diazepam, it is habit forming and withdrawal effects can occur when stopped. Diazepam can cause dizziness and drowsiness, alcohol can make these symptoms worst.

Diazepam can harm unborn babies and can be passed into breast milk. Known side effects of Diazepam are an allergic reaction, sores in the mouth or throat, yellowing of the skin or eye, a rash, hallucinations or severe confusion, changes in vision, drowsiness, dizziness, clumsiness, depression, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, difficulty urinating, vivid dreams, headache, dry mouth, decreased sex drive and changes in behaviour.

Glipizide is a sulfonylurea drug which is used to help control blood sugar levels and used to treat type 2 diabetes. Known side effects of glipizide are severe headaches in children, skin rash or hives, signs and symptoms of overdose, chest pain, confusion, fast or irregular heartbeat, mood swings, muscle weakness, psychosis, extreme restlessness, yellow eyes or skin, shortness of breath, changes in appetite, changes in menstrual periods, diarrhoea, fever, hand tremors, headache, increased sensitivity to heat, irritability, leg cramps, nervousness, sweating, trouble in sleeping, vomiting and weight loss.

Adverse reaction can take place when Glipizide is taken together with fenugreek and Ginkgo biloba. Fenugreek has been proved in studies to reduce blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes and ginkgo biloba worsened glucose tolerance in people who took oral anti-diabetes medication.

Thyroid medication are used for the treatment of hypothyroidism and are either synthetic or animal-derived hormones, Armour Thyroid is a common example of thyroid medication. Calcium and Soya may reduce drug absorption and bioavailability within the body, bugleweed and lemon balm cause adverse reaction when taken with thyroid medication.

Thyroid medication has been known to increase loss of calcium from the body through urine and calcium has been known to reduce the effectiveness of certain thyroid medication. Soya being taken at the same time as thyroid medication has been known to reduce it abilities.

Bugleweed and lemon balm should not be used with thyroid medication as it is known that they interfere with the action of thyroid hormones.

In conclusion, it is important for a Nutritional Therapist to ask patients what medication has been prescribed for them and to research these medications so that they know what side effects are caused by these and what supplement and food types can be used without causing further negative effects.

Stewart Hare C.H.Ed Dip NutTh

Bespoke consultations for a healthier natural life

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