Alcohol has strong associations with fun and relaxation, but it’s just another drug as far as your body is concerned. The side effects of medicines can be increased when you have even one drink. Beer, wine or hard liquor, combined with other drugs, can create dangerous, even life-threatening, interactions that include internal bleeding, heart problems and difficulty breathing. Prescription drugs, OTC drugs and even herbal remedies can trigger dangerous side effects. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) lists more than 100 common drugs (https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/Medicine/medicine.htm) that, if taken with alcohol, can cause harm. These drugs include many that…

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Some really useful drugs have irksome side effects, but not all of those persist. Soldier through one or more unpleasant initial symptoms for a few days, weeks or months, and they may subside. What is left is an effective, tolerable treatment. Norman Tomaka, a clinical consultant pharmacist in Melbourne, Fla., says initial side effects are to be expected when you incorporate any new drug into your body as it physically adjusts to the medication. However, in most cases, the body returns to normal functioning, and side effects subside. “It’s just the way our bodies defend their normal patterns,” says Tomaka.…

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