Healthier Living in 2008: Tips For Medication

It's time to clean out your medicine chest. Be ruthless and discard ANY medicine which is:

  • Past it's expiration date (adverse drug reactions is the 5th leading cause of DEATH in the USA)
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  • Out of its original packaging and you can't quite remember what it is for
  • Partially used prescriptions for conditions in which the medication is no longer needed
  • Prescriptions not written for you or a family member residing in your household.

Remember to ALWAYS:

  • Complete your antibiotic regimen even if you are feeling better. This will prevent the bacteria from becoming antibiotic resistant
  • Read the package insert when you pickup your prescriptions. You'd be surprised at what new information may be included, especially if you have been taking the drug for awhile!
  • Be very careful about taking OTC (over the counter) drugs in combination with ANY other medicines. Again, read the package insert.
  • ALWAYS Take the correct dose. Even, Tylenol can be lethal in overdoses.
  • Fill all your prescriptions at the same pharmacy. Their computers can usually pickup on dangerous drug combinations.
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  • Use the samples given to you by your physician before filling an expensive prescription-in the event you are unable to tolerate the drug or have a reaction to the medication. Ask the pharmacy to HOLD the written prescription so it won't get lost. Then a simple phone call is all that is needed to fill it.
  • Use your pharmacist as a resource-ask them before purchasing OTC medications, about side effects, etc. They are a wealth of information regarding your prescription health.

Be healthier in 2008!

By Diana from Prospect, KY

January 10, 20080 found this helpful

Great points, I'd just like to add a few things:

1. Adverse drug reactions usually come from taking medications that shouldn't be taken together (a prescription plus an OTC med), an allergy to a prescription, or taking a prescription with a specific food, vitamin, herb, or alcohol.

2. Never take any prescription unless it is truly needed. All prescriptions have side effects, many of which are not seen until much later. Repeatedly using prescriptions makes our bodies resistent to them and the dosage must continually be upped. It also is what allows germs/diseases to develop into resistent varieties.

3. While medications have a place in our lives, they are used to treat illness. To truly be healthy, one must live a healthy lifestyle.

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January 10, 20080 found this helpful

Many adverse drug reactions come from the genertic variation many of us have which causes us to metabolize the drug too quickly, not at all (no therapeutic effect) or too slowly (can get toxic) You have no way of knowing how you metabolize without the DNA tests that are currently available. These genetic variants don't create disease and you only need to worry about them IF you are prescribed the medication or have had a previous adverse drug reaction.

A good example is Warfarin (coumadin) used to treat blood clots now has a package label that includes information about genetic testing (CYP2C9-VKORC1). Do a web search for PHARMACOGENETICS of for more information. These tests are commercially available and are paid for by most insurances including Medicare. Discuss the need for such testing with your doctor (It is a newer field so don't be surprised IF they don't know a whole lot about it) The Doctors at PGXL are a wealth of information and are happy to discuss your situation with them.

My daughter had the test done when she was in the hospital for compound migraines that didn't respond to pain medications-she didn't metabolize the loritab to the active drug and got no pain relief. They switched to an other medication and she hasn't had a problem since! (We had over $9000 in medical bills for her alone last year and she missed 9 weeks of school-so this was a great relief to us, and HER!) Since your genetics NEVER change she can use this information the rest of her live!

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Disposing of Prescription Drugs
Disposing of Prescription Drugs
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