October is "Talk About Your Prescriptions" month. Prescriptions are the result of over 2/3s of all doctor visits. Medicine is the most common form of intervention according to a 2001 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. Medication management and safety is vitally important as prescription medicines, over the counter medications, vitamins and or herbal supplements have become more important part of quality medical care as time goes on. You and your family should know how to use and manage prescription safely and effectively. After all they are there to help you
Medicine is described as a product that changes the way your body works or treats or prevents a disease. I have arthritis medicine that helps how my body works and diabetic medicine that helps treat and prevent disease. Most medications fall into one of two categories a prescription such as blood pressure medicine, diabetic medications, antibiotics or birth control pills. The second is Over the counter drugs (OTC) that you can buy without a prescription, these range from aspirin, antacids, laxatives, and cough medicine.
The goal of medicine is to lead to better health, improved quality of life, longer life for people with diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and other life threatening conditions. Medication also have risk and it is very important to weigh the benefits and risks for each medicine.
generic medication has the same active ingredients as the brand name it normally goes by its chemical name. Generic drugs work the same way in the body and is the same dosage, safety, strength, how it is taken, quality, performance and intended use.
dietary supplements and herbal remedies do not have the same strict guidelines as prescription drugs. They do not have to be proven safe, that they work or that they are clean, pure, or actually contain what the label claims.
Risks and Problems:
medications can cause problems even if used as prescribed.
allergic reactions occur when your body's defense system reacts in a bad way to a medicine. Reactions may include hives, itching or a rash. Reactions may also result in the narrowing of the throat, difficult breathing, shortness of breath.
Medication may cause side effects even if used as directed. Side effects such as headaches, dizziness, or upset stomach are common side effects. However rare side effects include liver failure
Medical use problems include over use of prescribed or OTC drug. This may happen by accident or by not following directions Under use is also a problem that can occur by same means. Drug interaction occurs when a drug interacts with another drug, food, or alcohol and changes the way the drug acts in the body
(1) learn about your health conditions and medicines from your healthcare providers and pharmacist.
(2) Medication list that includes names of your medications, OTC's, supplements and herbal remedies. Know when they are taken, who prescribed, what used for, how often and dose amount and whether you have refills or not
(3) Know the facts about all medications, OTCs, supplements, and remedies that you take to help you avoid problems
(4) use one pharmacy this will help you keep tract of important records. Your pharmacist will also be able to help you monitor which medications you take and what interactions are possible. Always double check your prescriptions as the pharmacist are humans and mistakes are possible.
(5) never take someone else's medicine and keep medications away from children
(6) always contact your health care provider with any problems and be sure to ask questions.
- What am I taking this medicine for?
- Is it a brand or generic drug?
- Does this new prescription mean I should stop taking any other medicines I'm taking now?
- How it should be taken.
- How much?
- How often and what time of day (For example, does four times a day mean during the daytime or within a 24 hour period)?
- With or without food?
- When should I stop taking the medicine?
- Will I need a refill?