Last Friday, June 19, we had one of our Lunch Talks at the clinic. Our very own Dr. Brian Conway gave a mini-lecture over lunch — sponsored by Merck — on drug interactions.
Bottom line: Be aware of what you’re taking!
The talk was very informative and quite extensive for the amount of time we had, and typing up all that information would be too much for a blog post! Fortunately, Dr. Conway gave us a shortcut to all that knowledge: The University of Liverpool’s Drug Interaction websites!
Basically, the site allows for public access of PDF charts detailing which drugs have interactions with each other and whether or not these interactions are negligible or deadly. It has a very easy-to-understand scheme: interactions labeled in GREEN are drugs you can take together, YELLOW are drugs you want to take with caution, and RED labeled drug interactions are just NO. And for people interested in why the labels are colored as such, the site also has an area detailing the information behind the specific labels.
The sites are very informative and user-friendly. And also quite comprehensive — from Ibuprofen to Cocaine to other antivirals!
Here are some screenshots:
They also produced (free) apps!
These are available in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Click on the photos below for the Apple App Store. Or search for HEP iChart and HIV iChart for the HCV and the HIV drug interactions app respectively.
You start by selecting the HIV or HCV drug you’re interested in and then select the other drug (cough medicine, pain medication, recreational drugs, alcohol, etc.) you want to check and voila!
This is an amazing resource for individuals living with HIV or HCV (Hep C), the health care professionals working with them, and family and community members that want to look out for them. A convenient cheat sheet in the palm of your hand — or on your wall if you choose to print the charts out.
HOWEVER, these apps and charts do not replace your doctor’s orders. Always run things by your doctor if you’re unsure of the medications you’re taking.