As intense scrutiny continues to plague Lindsay Lohan while she prepares to serve a 90-day jail sentence, attention has now turned to what’s inside her medicine cabinet following the release of a probation officer’s report detailing the results of random drug tests.
In all, the screenings detected five different prescription medications including antidepressants, a powerful painkiller and a popular heartburn medication. FoxNews.com talked to Dr. Heather Lewerenz, a psychopharmacologist in a private practice in New York City, to run down exactly what these drugs are used for and the potential side effects.
Nexium: This popular heartburn medication – also known as “the purple pill” – is used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which backward flow of acid from the stomach causes heartburn and injury to the esophagus.
“This is a pretty commonly prescribed medication,” said Lewerenz. “It doesn’t have a lot of side effects and is pretty well tolerated.”
In adults 18 and older, the most common side effects include headache, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
Zoloft: This medication is used to treat the symptoms of depression, as well as certain types of anxiety conditions in adults 18 and older. However, it is also approved to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in children and adolescents 6 – 17 years old.
Use of alcohol is not recommended in patients who are taking Zoloft, and it may cause some patients to become agitated, irritable or display other abnormal behaviors. It may also cause some people to have suicidal thoughts and tendencies or to become more depressed, the Mayo Clinic said on its website.
Trazodone: This is another antidepressant that is often used as a sleep aid.
“Interrupted sleep is a common side effect and consequence of heavy drinking, and drinking on a regular basis — it’s very destructive to a person’s sleep pattern,” Lewerenz said. “So sometimes, a sleep aid can mask the natural human process of the body as someone tries to get off alcohol.”
Lewerenz said Trazodone is often used in conjunction with Zoloft for two reasons.
“It helps people sleep and it can also augment the effects of the Zoloft.”
Trazodone may cause several side effects including headache or heaviness in head, nausea, vomiting, changes in appetite or weight, and a decreased ability to concentrate or remember things.
Adderall: This is an amphetamine stimulant that is widely used to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD) as well as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a chronic condition that affects millions of children. The condition, in which patients have trouble paying attention and/or controlling impulsive behaviors, can also persist into adulthood.
“This is a bit more concerning because it’s a potentially addictive medication, and it should only be used under very close supervision,” Lewerenz said. “For someone who is known to have had an addiction to stimulants such as cocaine — it might be a questionable choice.”
Lewerenz said while there are many side effects associated with Adderall — which is prescribed to treat children with ADD and ADHD as young as 5 years old — the most concerning one is the potential for someone to become addicted to the drug.
“If that happens, this drug will continue to contribute to the cycle of abuse.”
Dilaudid: This powerful painkiller was also detected during the random drug tests. In the probation officer’s report, it was stated that Lohan took Dilaudid to treat “dental pain.”
“This is a pretty heavy-duty painkiller,” Lewerenz said. “It’s hard to imagine why a young, rather healthy person would be on that on a long-term basis. It may be used on a short-term basis after someone has surgery or dental work — but again, only on a short-term basis.”
Lewerenz pointed out that opiate painkillers are quite addictive.
“Prescribing Adderall and Dilaudid together is a little like prescribing a speed ball,” she added. “Each has their own overdose potential.”
Side effects of Dilaudid include dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, stomach pain, rash and difficulty urinating.
The report did not indicate how often Lohan is taking the medications, but it stated she had valid prescriptions for all of them. She told the officer she has been taking the medications "for as long as she can remember."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.