5 Drug Facts That Might Save Your Life (Slideshow)

A dose of truth about medications

Multiple types of medication

When it comes to medications, facts matter. Get a dose of truth about statins, prescription painkillers and more.


  • 1. Acetaminophen is in more drugs than you think

    Acetaminophen is in Tylenol, Pamprin, Alka-Seltzer Plus and other over-the-counter drugs. And it’s in prescription medications such as Vicodin and Percocet (check the label for APAP). Don’t mix and match — too much acetaminophen can damage your liver.

    Learn how much is too much
  • 2. Water is the safest bet for taking pills

    Don’t take pills with just any liquid. Especially not alcohol, which can seriously interfere with the way your body absorbs medication. Use water, and swallow enough to keep pills from dissolving before they reach your stomach.

    Bust more myths about medications
  • 3. Statins aren't just for heart disease

    Most people who have had a heart attack or stroke, bypass surgery, stents, or diabetes should take statins. But statins can help some patients with high “bad” LDL cholesterol but no heart disease, too. Statins lower LDL levels by 20 to 60 percent.

    Find out more about the “big six” heart medications
  • 4. Your genes may change how you react

    More than 100 FDA-approved medications have “pharmacogenetic” information on their labels. Why? Because some drugs — including certain antidepressants and Warfarin — will affect you differently based on your genetics. Some may have serious side effects for you that don't affect others.

    Discover how medications and genetics mix
  • 5. More painkillers don’t mean less pain

    After a severe injury, two prescription pain pills may be more effective than one. But over time, taking too much backfires. Pain medications may inhibit the way your brain and spinal cord interpret pain signals — leaving you a higher tolerance and more pain.

    Get more facts about prescription painkillers

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