Medical Minute 02-28

By: Eyewitness News Email
By: Eyewitness News Email

Did you know that mixing licorice and blood pressure meds could lead to paralysis? If you're not careful, the drugs meant to save you could actually do more harm than good. Andrew McIntosh shows us how everything from the time of day, to the type of food we eat could do us harm.

Pill, after pill, after pill, from prescription to over-the counter, medicinal mistakes put at least 1.3 million Americans at risk of premature death each year. The wrong combination of foods and drugs, at the wrong time could make a life or death difference.

For Debra Jacobson, it was blood pressure meds. At her worst, she hit a dangerous 210 over 190! Normal is 120 over 80. Her doctor's advice? It all came down to her medicine.

He said she needed to take it at night. Within three days she saw a drastic change. Doctor Alan Ackermann says taking blood pressure meds at night can cut your risk of heart attack and stroke by one-third!

Another mistake? Mixing cholesterol lowering meds, like statins, with grapefruit. The grapefruit breaks down some statins too quickly, making them too toxic to fast. To be safe, talk to your doctor about what you're taking and time your meds for eight to 12 hours after you eat grapefruit.

Another deadly combo? Alcohol and acetaminophens. While most won't shoot whiskey with their tylenol, popping just one to stave off a morning hangover-could put you at risk for liver failure! Not a drinker? Not off the hook! Most women know smoking while on birth control can cause blood clots, but just one cigarette could cause a blocked artery in your lung.

Finally, the same pills you take for pain could be raising your blood pressure! As much as 20 points higher! Whether it's watching what you do or when you do it, like debra it could save your life.

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