Week of:
Dec 14, 2018

Safe to take expired prescription medication?

Hi Alice,

I wanted to know the dangers of taking expired pills. For instance, Xanax that expired over five years ago. I'm sure you're wondering why someone would still have them but I am curious what would happen if you took them now.

Thank you,

Using friend's muscle relaxant — Safe?

Dear Alice,

I originally took a muscle relaxer because I was experiencing very bad back pain and could not sleep. I was not prescribed the muscle relaxers. My friend suggested I take one of hers. So I did, and now I will take one sometimes before bed if I can't fall asleep or if I want to actually just relax. It makes me just want to sleep, and I feel really calm after taking one. Is this bad that I take them for this reason? What are the side effects? Is it harmful?

Miss Dazed and Confused

Will a break from Prozac keep me awake when I drink?

Dear Alice,

I am currently on Prozac and at college. I'm just wondering, what would happen if I stopped taking Prozac for one or two days before the weekend so that I could drink alcohol without feeling extremely sleepy? When I start taking the Prozac the next morning after drinking, will it be like starting the Prozac from square one? How long does Prozac stay in the body for?

perplexed about prozac

Friends are double dosing: Marijuana and Prozac

Dear Alice,

I have two friends who were recently diagnosed with depression. They were both prescribed Prozac by their respective doctors. Both of them are heavy marijuana users and both failed to mention that to their doctors. One has been on Prozac for two months and the other for six weeks. I have noticed that their behavior has become strange: mood swings, paranoia, oversleeping, fatigue. They continue taking their Prozac (20 mg a day) and continue smoking pot. I am afraid that there might be some negative interaction between the substances, one being an antidepressant and the other a depressant. Can you provide some insight?

— Concerned Friend

Using stimulant drugs to study

1) Dear Alice,

I have a large amount of course work, which is combined with a job and extra-curriculars, and while I want to succeed in all of them, I find that I simply don't have enough time, even though I currently sleep only 4 or 5 hours a night. I mentioned this to a group of my friends here at school, and it turns out they all take stimulants to help them manage jam-packed undergraduate life. The pills are called ADDERALL and PROVIGIL. I have acquired some for myself, but before I take them, could you tell me if either has serious health risks? I do not have any other health problems or take any other medications. A few of my friends tell me that they sometimes stay awake for as long as 3 or 4 days. If it is reasonably safe, that would be great! Thank you.

No time for sleep

2) Dear Alice,

Given the fact that this is a top-notch school, it's total hoo-ha that you haven't included any info on all the non-hard core, but still illegal, "study stimulants." Is all this ADDERALL gonna do me permanent damage or what?

awaiting your response,