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OTC meds and SSRIs

I'm really anxious about taking medications for anxiety, but after having limited success with counseling, exercise, etc. only to be caught back up in another anxious cycle I'm giving an SSRI (Prozac) a try.

After reading the VERY LENGTHY patient inserts from the pharmacy, I'm troubled by whether there are any 'unlisted' drug interactions or something like that that I'm missing.  The doctor is aware of daily medication that I'm taking (ex. Zyrtec) so I feel fairly comfortable about staying on those.  However, with the flu going around my house, I'm worried about treating other run-of-the-mill illnesses with OTC stuff while on the SSRI -- examples: Tylenol is not mentioned on the insert, cold meds (other than cough suppressant, which is specifically contraindicated on the patient insert), Ibuprofen (says, "additional monitoring may be needed"??) etc.  I asked the pharmacist who gave me a ho-hum non-committal answer like "I can't think of anything that interacts OTC... " and was less than satisfied.

Admittedly the anxiety is such that unfortunately for me just reading the warnings on the insert makes me fearful of starting the medicine but this additional flu thing.  I decided to wait til the flu blows over prior to starting the SSRI (ahemahem procrastinating a little too coughcough) so that I don't confuse the flu with SSRI side effects.

If you have experience using OTC medicines & SSRIs, please share !  I would love to have peace of mind.
3 Responses
1666691 tn?1303757948
I have been on an ssri for three years,have had ibuprofen many times just bad for the stumach so i have acid blocker omeprazol with it.Have used lots of other stuff with it; different cough medicines,paracetamol and non over the counter stuff.Chemnists are usually well trained so if they say its safe....lily
Avatar universal
Actually, I think Tylenol and ibuprofen are mentioned -- I believe ssris warn of possible bleeding and bruising from nsaids, and both of the above are nsaids.  I doubt it stops any of us from using them, but drugs are always going to present possible problems, and docs and pharmacists are pretty clueless about them.  There's just too many of them, and most only happen to a minority of users, sometimes a small minority.  Doctors and pharmacists are in the business, ultimately, of selling drugs, and they're also pretty comfortable using them, so to get truly objective info you'll have to do your own homework, but you also have to weigh how much your illness is disrupting your life as the counterbalance.  
Avatar universal
Nsaids raise the risk of irritating your stomach, anyway.  I have been on Celexa for awile and have never had to pass up another needed med because of it.  I take omeprazole, also and did take Zyrtec for awhile, but it made me sleepy.  I really wouldn't be anxious about interactions with OTC meds.  Most of their labels will tell you what not to take them with.  Good Luck!
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Arlington, WA
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