General Question

babiturtle36's avatar

Can I take another type of medicine while I'm taking penicillin?

Asked by babiturtle36 (2339 points ) February 26th, 2009 from iPhone

It’s too early to call my doctor. I’m currently taking penicillin because I have strep throat. I have a cold, ( stuffy nose, cough, mucus ) can I take another medicine for my cold at the same time as the penicillin? If so, what medicine? Or should I just wait till I can call my doctor?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

24 Answers

Darwin's avatar

Your doctor may be able to prescribe something specific, but to be honest something like Nyquil or Nyquil D will do the trick. None of the ingredients will interact with the penicillin.

Or you can break it down to its component parts and take just the ones you really need.

Nyquil contains
* Acetaminophen (500 mg/15mL) (pain reliever/fever reducer)
* Dextromethorphan (15 mg/15mL) (cough suppressant)
* Doxylamine succinate (6.25 mg/15mL) (antihistamine/hypnotic)

And Nyquil D contains:
* Acetaminophen (500 mg/15mL) (pain reliever/fever reducer)
* Dextromethorphan (15 mg/15mL) (cough suppressant)
* Doxylamine succinate (6.25 mg/15mL) (antihistamine/hypnotic)
* Pseudoephedrine (30 mg/15mL) (nasal decongestant) (because of this you have to ask for it the pharmacy, thanks to DIY meth addicts)

Mr_M's avatar

Is Penicillin the ONLY prescription medication you take? If not, you MAY want to wait for the doctor because OTHER medications may interact with the over-the-counter cold medication. And Nyquil is for NIGHT time relief, i.e., it will make you sleepy. You wouldn’t want to drive or operate dangerous machinery sleepy.

babiturtle36's avatar

Yes, Penicillin is the only medication im taking. I have two different medicines at home im thinking about taking for my cold:
1. Tylenol Cough & Sore Throat (daytime)
or
2. Equate (walmart brand) Tussin CF Cough & Cold (for coughs, stuffy nose, chest congestion)

Darwin's avatar

If those are what you usually take then go ahead, especially if they work for you. Based on your symptoms I would suspect the Equate might be the better choice, but I suggest you read the labels.

Personally I tend to take Nyquil or its generic equivalent because when I feel that bad I am not going anywhere but to bed. I never drive or operate dangerous machinery when I’m sleeping, except possibly in my dreams.

babiturtle36's avatar

lol :) thanks guys

cwilbur's avatar

Er, isn’t this the sort of question you should ask your doctor or a pharmacist, and not a group of relative strangers? @Darwin sounds authoritative, but you have no way of knowing what his or her qualifications are.

Maybe he or she is a doctor or pharmacist, but the point is, you have no way of knowing that, or of judging whether the advice he or she has given you is sound. I’m not saying it isn’t—I have no way of knowing myself—but before I took any medication I’d want to be sure.

Darwin's avatar

@cwilbur – Some things are simple. Penicillin does interact with some drugs as per http://www.drugs.com/drug-interactions/penicillin_d00116.html but not with typical over-the-counter cold medications. She has already said that a) she is taking nothing else and b) she has two different compounds in the house presumably for her own use.

Now if she were taking blood thinners, a second antibiotic, or was undergoing chemotherapy, that would be different. But she says she isn’t.

If she is taking oral contraceptives then her risk of unwanted pregnancy would be fractionally higher, but since she has strep throat (very contagious) and feels lousy she shouldn’t be having sex anyway.

And finally, I have lived long enough that I have run into this particular situation many, many, many times as the caretaker for a disabled husband and two children. If it were more complicated I would say call the doctor. But it isn’t.

Common sense applies in this case.

Mr_M's avatar

With due respect, however, YOU didn’t ask her if she was taking any other prescription meds. I did. Had she taken your advice solely on the basis of your original answer but WAS taking something else, she could have had dire consequences. In addition, the Nyquil you proposed IS a night time medication that makes one sleepy. You ASSUMED she would take it at night, but that was NOT necessarily the case. She could have taken it during the day, drove her car, and had an accident.

I don’t mean to sound like I’m focusing on you. I am not. It’s just that giving medical advice over the internet is a very dangerous practice and shouldn’t be done UNLESS it includes “see your doctor”.

Clearly you meant well, but clearly things are not always so simple.

Darwin's avatar

@Mr_M – argue with me all you want, I really don’t care.

Now back to my regular programming.

Mr_M's avatar

That’s precisely what I did NOT want to convey. I am not arguing with you. I’m trying to call something to your attention.

cwilbur's avatar

@Darwin: Sure, the answer you gave was probably correct.

But the original poster has no way of knowing that, or knowing what your qualifications are.

And she’s got a doctor—someone prescribed the penicillin. Asking a group of relative strangers for medical advice when your doctor is on the other end of a phone call is just nuts. You’re taking your life in your hands.

jlm11f's avatar

I don’t have an answer to your title Q. I just wanted to say something about your strep throat. Please take your antibiotics to the final dose. Even if you start feeling better before your dose schedule is over. A lot of people think they feel good and they can stop their treatment, and this then leads to lifelong incurable diseases such as rheumatic fever and glomerulonephritis.

babiturtle36's avatar

@PnL Will do. My doctor said the same thing :)

cwilbur's avatar

I might actually start telling people I have glomerulonephritis because it’s so much fun to say.

Dr_C's avatar

A lot of doctors will prescribe antibiotics in order to fight off an infection without actually dealing with the symptoms of that infection…. the theory behind that being if you take care of the underlying problem the rest will go away.. which is true once the full effect of the antibiotic has kicked in… which depending on the specific type and concentration of the penicillin you’re on can take anywhere from 4 days to 2 weeks.

I usually will prescribe antibiotics and suggest some over the counter remedy in order to take care of the symptoms…. there’s no need to be uncomfortable while your medication does the trick… and most antibiotics won’t interact with OTC’s.

Dr_C's avatar

also… incomplete treatment doesn’t directly lead to complications (which can occur with or without treatment anyway) but will make whichever bug you happen to be trying to eradicate become immune to the specific antibiotic you’re using thereby restarting your symptoms later.. possibly making the infection worse (although not in every case) and then creating a “super-infection” in which you’ll have to take stronger antibiotics for a longer time… This is also the reason doctors are against self-medicating….. if you don’t know how the medication works… don’t take it!

shilolo's avatar

@Dr_C Welcome to Fluther! Your points are all valid, though, I would disagree that a lot of doctors don’t treat the symptoms. I’ve given phenazopyridine to treat the symptoms of UTI, bronchodilators for bronchitis, opioids for painful cellulitis, etc. However, I usually limit the symptomatic treatment because I am a strong proponent of “less is more”. The more drugs someone takes, the more likely they are to have an (unintended) side effect. So, even though an ancillary drug might alleviate some of the symptoms of disease X, I will defer using it unless the patient insists. I have seen too many cases of drug-induced iatrogenesis to be comfortable with prescribing or recommended any unnecessary medications.

As far as antibiotic resistance is concerned, you are right, though in this one particular instance (penicillin for Streptococcus pyogenes), there would be no ill effect of stopping early (from a drug resistance point of view), as penicillin-resistant Strep pyogenes has never been observed, for unclear reasons.

Darwin's avatar

@cwilbur – Glomerulonephritis is indeed fun to say, but not at all fun to have. Kidneys are rather essential to life, and dialysis is no fun.

Dr_C's avatar

@shilolo thank you for that! you gave a great answer and were good at reminding me of my tendency to generalize. You are 100% correct as to strep pyogenes…. however since most of my work is done in the San Quintin Valley (mexico… just south of ensenada) my main focus is actually on strep pneumoniae whose resistance is 40–50% depending on where in the world you are. (see http://jac.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/44/2/141).
Either way “less is more” is the way to go in most cases, especially if you’re tendency is to limit symptomatic treatment… there ares some cases in which some patients can get particularly “fussy”, and using a medication you are familiar with and have had some experience with isn’t really that big a problem. Like so many other things… this should only be applied on a case by case basis.

shilolo's avatar

@Dr_C. Glad to have a fellow Dr on board (though there are some who doubt my credentials). You’ll find that there is a lot of information to provide, and disinformation to correct, on Fluther.

Dr_C's avatar

i’ve noticed…. but it’s always fun to read anyway! It’s good to know there are a few of us out tere willing to dispel myths and misconceptions… this is a great way to get involved in public health issues without actually pontificating.

SeventhSense's avatar

@shilolo
I just always took you for a beekeeper.
@babiturtle36
Yes you can. No I can’t say if you should nor would I venture a guess. I would direct your question at the beekeeper or the dog. Or best call your doctor, (who I imagine is neither a beekeeper or a dog). :)

Dr_C's avatar

Rrrrruuuuuuuufffff

victoriajones191's avatar

i have been on penicillin for 4 days now,ive taken it after i had something to eat and its given me a upset belly with the runs,can i take some imodium to stop the runs.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther