If you take over-the-counter medications, vitamins, supplements, herbs or prescription drugs for menstrual-related issues or any other reason, here’s a gentle reminder: Most can interact with other medications, vitamins, herbs, supplements or even food and can have unexpected side effects. Just a few surprising ones you may not have known:
* Ibuprofen (for instance, found in Advil and Motrin), can make you more sensitive to the sun’s UV rays, which can result in a sunburn. So, wear protective clothing and apply a sunscreen with SPF 30 or above if you plan to be out in the sun while taking it.
* Garlic supplements may reduce the effectiveness of hormone birth control by speeding up the breakdown of the synthetic estrogen in the contraceptive. So, either use a back-up birth control method while taking garlic supplements or switch to a garlic-free supplement.
* Amoxicillin (a common antibiotic) can temporarily stain your teeth, so you may need to brush your teeth more frequently while taking it.
To find out about possible side effects and interactions of the OTCs, vitamins, supplements, herbs and prescriptions you’re currently taking or plan to, visit Drugs.com and WebMD’s Drugs and Medications Center.