No. of Recommendations: 1
I think the drug companies have to cover their backs and so give blanket warnings about reactions to pretty well everything.

There's a big difference between reactions---i.e. side-effects---and interactions.

I agree that some drug companies may over-report on side-effects and are particularly cautious for, e.g., pregnant women after the thalidomide disaster. And common drugs have to be pretty safe for most people to take, or they would never get to market.

However, drug interactions are a different matter. Some interactions can be extremely serious, especially where one drug augments the effect of another. Doctors need to be well-informed on which drugs patients may take together: if a drug could save a patient's life, alarmism about interactions would not be appropriate. Medical literature is quite accurate and classifies serious interactions as "monitor closely", "use alternatives" etc.

In penym's case, while a family doctor may assess the risk and go ahead, I think it was pretty irresponsible of a doctor to prescribe the mix to a visitor who he would not be able to monitor. The drugs she was prescribed interact in three different ways and according to Medscape, one of these ways is potentially "life-threatening".

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