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Medication interaction - combination checker

I had a really bad reaction to Cymbalta.

I found www.drugs.com that has a medication interaction checker as part of the site. It is not a commercial site. Apparently Cymbalta and Amitryptaline can be very dangerous when taken together. My GP obviously didn't realise. The interaction checker is easy to use and you can check all your medications and if there could be an adverse interaction when taken together.

The site gives interactions for each medication combined so you can see ones that might be adverse. I kept on taking Cymbalta and Amitryptaline together and could not get out of bed, or even answer the phone for two weeks before I stopped taking Cymbalta. I honestly thought I was going to die but did not realise it was the side effects of the combination of medications.

If I had known about this site sooner, I had all the very dangerous side effects, I would have stopped Cymbalta combined with Amitryptaline straight away and gone back to my GP which is what they advise if you have adverse effects. It is not a commercial site and has lots of other information as well about medications. You do normally need the pharmaceutical name of the medication to check, although you can check with some brand names as well.


  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 09/17/2013 - 6:30 AM
    Your pharmacy should have given you a print out of the interactions of the medications and more importantly, they should have known that you were taking two medications that would cause an interaction. That's why they are there, to make sure that patients do not take medications that might interact together.
    In the printed information given out with each prescription here in the US, it lists those medications that you should not take with the newly filled prescription.......I don't know if it is that way in Australia but if it isn't, it should be.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    edited 09/17/2013 - 7:23 AM
    www.drugs.com does provide some information But can never be as personalized as what you get from your pharmacist.
    They know exactly ALL the different medications you are on and they can identify any potential problem with interactions.

    I tested drugs.com for an interaction and it came up negative, but with my pharmacists, the interaction was a clear problem.

    So, here is where the computer will fail and it is does take human interaction to get it right.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • thoracic spine painthoracic spine pain Posts: 566
    edited 09/24/2013 - 1:36 AM
    My pharmacist is really great , he usually picks up everything - we don't get a printout of medication interactions with our scripts in Australia, well I don't in Queensland, but maybe in other states they do, or maybe it depends on the pharmacy but I haven't ever got one ever in any state. That is why I always use the same pharmacist. He may not have been there on that day and maybe a pharmicist who didn't know me did the script. It was a once only script so maybe whoever was on didn't check because the Amitryptaline only needs to be filled occasionally as its not a Schedule 2 medication and I only take one a night.

    That's all I can think of - maybe the computer didn't show up the Amitryptaline on the first page. It is a wonder though that the pharmacy computer program doesn't automatically check for any contraindications.

    Ron do you want to create a pharmacy program that picks up contraindications? Would be a good programming job for someone to design.

    If they do it on drugs.com it shouldn't be that difficult to add on. They do have some trainee pharmicists as well but I'll ask him when I go in next time.

    I use him as he has known me for years even though they are more expensive than the discount pharmacies. He is a spot on pharmacist and I trust him completely so don't know what happened. He has seen me from the start of the accident and for years before it. We don't have pharmacies in big chain stores like they do in the States and frankly hope Australia does not go that way. I like pharmacies where everyone, including the girls know me and my history, see how bad I am sometimes and seem to care about me. After this many years they always ask how I am and can tell if i'm in pain. So I never feel like I am just a number to them.
  • RickilalasRRickilalas Posts: 559
    edited 09/20/2013 - 10:55 AM
    I took cymbals and amiyriptolyne..with no problems. I leave it up to my doctors they know better and I had no issues the drug checkers say you may have which also means you may not have. Yes it's best to check but side effects are not always right. Even if a program doesn't say any thing about a possible.side effect with other drugs we are all different and we all need to watch and be careful with any new drugs.
  • I know the contraindications might happen very rarely but when they do, I lost two weeks off work, which I couldn't afford, lost two interstate meetings which I needed to be at, had no idea why I was too ill even to go back to the GP or answer the phone, so I would have liked to have known the possibility of contraindications beforehand. If you look at the contraindication symptoms of this combination - I had all of these really badly, was so sick I was scared and never even considered the possibility it could be the med combination. I thought I had caught a really bad virus and it would resolve itself.

    I posted the info as it might be useful for someone else if they are prescribed a new medication and have a bad reaction, to see whether it may be caused by contraindications. I only just realised what happened myself. Too late for me but might be a useful for someone. Just trying to help. Sorry what are burners?
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    I've talked to the owners here. There are no current plans to include a Drug Interaction feature.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Hi Ron, thank you. I didn't mean on this site - just meant as you are a programmer, it is strange that the pharmacies don't have automatic contraindication checkers on their computer programs in the pharmacy itself. When they bring up your name, then they type in the prescription, that the program doesn't automatically check the medications you are already taking and any contraindications flash up on the screen.

    It seems that it would be a good idea. I know there are a lot of computer programmers on this site, probably some in Australia as well, and I guess it is something you could do from home, if you have had to leave work.

    Maybe they do have them in the US as you get the contraindications printed out. So they must somehow check the medications automatically on the computer to give you a printout.

    As I take a scheduled drug in Australia, the drug laws are so strict, and I don't think we have pill mills, by law the Dr must obtain a special authority to prescribe those medications. Maybe the pharmacists all have to use the same computer program, as if I fill a scheduled script my Dr has to call through to a regulatory body and obtain a special authority number. Just wondering if anyone in Australia knows how it works here?

    I don't know, it was just an idea. I do know there are different regulatory bodies in each State in Australia so scheduled medications must be controlled by State regulatory bodies. Will ask my pharmacist next time I see him.
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