Interaction with other drugs
Taking two or more different drugs together (whether they be prescription or over the counter) can affect the way one or more of the drugs works in your body.
This includes combinations of prescribed drugs with other prescribed drugs, medicines you can buy over the counter, herbal and other alternative remedies, and recreational drugs. Some of these interactions can happen with certain anti-HIV drugs.
These interactions can mean that you don't have enough of a drug present in your blood for it to work properly. If this happens with anti-HIV drugs, it can risk the development of resistance. Or it can mean that you have too much of a drug and this can mean that there's more of a chance of side-effects developing.
Interactions are one of the reasons why it makes very good sense for your HIV doctor and pharmacist (and any other medical professional who prescribes you medicines) to know about all the medicines and drugs you are taking.
There are interactions between some anti-HIV drugs and everyday, over-the-counter medicines that it is important to be aware of. These can include indigestion remedies, antihistamines and cold and flu remedies. It always makes good sense to read the leaflet that comes with all medicines as this will include information about possible drug interactions.
Just like conventional medicine, herbal and other alternative remedies can interact with anti-HIV drugs. You should check with your HIV doctor or pharmacist before taking any herbal remedies.
It is also wise to consider how recreational drug use could affect adherence to your HIV treatments as sleeping patterns and routine may well be disturbed.