You don’t get to be a Supreme Court justice unless you are pretty darn smart. But Justice Ginsburg made a mistake that could have cost her her life. She had a long flight to Europe ahead of her, and hoping to sleep, she took two OTC sleep aids in addition to a prescription sleeping pill. It was all too much for her, and she was rushed to the hospital before the plane took off.
Justice Ginsburg forgot to read the instructions on the label. Millions of people make similar mistakes every day. Doubling up on nonprescription drugs or mixing them with prescription medicine can have serious consequences.
Just ask Michael Jackson’s family…or Anna Nicole Smith’s family…or Heath Ledger’s family. All these celebrities were taking complicated concoctions of medications that did not mix well.
The next time you contemplate taking Advil with your blood pressure medicine, consider the possibility that your pain reliever might undo the benefits of the anti-hypertensive. The Tagamet HB200 you take for your heartburn could kick your Coumadin into overdrive and result in a deadly hemorrhage.
Justice Ginsburg’s unfortunate incident should be a wake-up call for all of us. Before you take any over-the-counter medicine, read the label and make sure it won’t clash with any prescription medicine you may take.