Sunday, March 23, 2014

Know your medications

Your medication is important to your health.  But using medications both prescription and over the counter can be complicated. especially given that many people take multiple prescriptions, which can have potential side effects and adverse interactions.

These tips can help become more informed about your medications and help you work with your health care provider and pharmacist to make sure medications work for your health.

Questions to ask your health care provider if you need a prescription:
(1) What is the name of the medication?
(2) Is this a brand name or generic version
(3)How will it help my health condition?
(4)How and when do I take the medication and for how long?
(5)What foods, drinks, herbals vitamins or other drugs do I need to avoid while taking this medication?
(6)Do I need to avoid any activities while taking this medication?(7)Are there any side potential side effects, and what should I do if they occur?
(7)What is the risk of interactions with other prescription and over the counter drugs I am taking?
(8)How will I know if a medication is working?(9)Does this drug contain anything I am allergic to?(9)How long has the drug been on the market? Does it have a safety record?
(10)How much does this drug cost? Are there equivalent but less costly drugs?

For your safety and those around you.

Store medication out of reach of children and pets
Keep medications in their original containers. Use child-resistant containers if children live with or visit you.
Follow a routine when taking your medication
Separate tubes of ointment from tubes of other products such as toothpaste or children's products.
Use the measuring device that comes with the prescription or over the counter medication (for example the dosage cups or oral syringe)
Never take someone else's medication. Drugs and dosages are usually individual and contain specific in ways that may harm you.
Ask your pharmacist about how to discard expired or unused medications.

Taking Your Medication
(1)Make sure that it is for you. Confirm that your filled prescription contains your personal information.
(2)Read all materials. Printed details, known as patient information, should accompany your prescription. Read it thoroughly for information and to get the best results. If you don't understand something, talk to your pharmacist before using a medication.
(3)Take as directed. Taking medication as prescribed is essential to the medication's success. If you take multiple prescriptions read each label with every dose you take to be sure you are not taking a medication twice. or missing a dose of another.

Keep in mind that if side effects become a concern notify your health care provider right away. Also you may or may not feel that the medication is working. But if the problem persists once you have completed the treatment call your provider.  And of course finish the medication even if you are feeling better. Your health care provider sets the number of days for a reason. The bottom line is to take the medication as instructed unless  your doctor or pharmacist tells you otherwise.

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