Tuesday, March 16, 2010
5 Ways to Ensure That Your Pills Don't Become Your Ills
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5 Ways to Ensure That Your Pills Don’t Become Your Ills
It’s ironic that something that saves lives is also responsible for taking lives. Yes, drugs are a double-edged sword that could cut you badly if you’re not careful. They’re potent weapons that fight disease, but when you abuse them or are careless in the way you use them, they turn against you and your health. So whether you handle medicines on a regular basis or come into contact with them only occasionally, it’s imperative that you use them responsibly. And to that end, here are a few ways to ensure that your pills don’t become your ills:
• Don’t use them without a prescription: There’s no going around this cardinal rule when it comes to drugs – don’t use them without a prescription. Yes, you can buy OTC drugs without a prescription, but it’s best you discuss the drugs you’re buying with your doctor so that they don’t cause adverse reactions and side effects, especially if you’re on prescription drugs as well.
• Follow your prescription strictly: Stick to your doctor’s instructions on your prescription – take your medicines on time and when you should (before or after meals), refill your prescription when necessary, and call and find out what you need to do when you forget a dose.
• Take them only for as long as necessary: You’re not supposed to take medication beyond the time limit of your prescription. If you still don’t feel better, you must see your doctor and get another prescription to continue your medication. Also, when it comes to certain drugs like antibiotics, you must remember to continue with the full dosage even though you feel better. When you stop taking them the moment you’re able to get out bed, you risk catching an infection again.
• Know what drugs you’re taking: You must know the names of the medication you take regularly and be able to inform health care professionals in the event of an accident or other mishap that requires you to visit a hospital. This way, you prevent adverse reactions to drugs you are allergic to and ensure that there are no double dosages. Also, if you’re taking blood thinners for your heart, you need to inform your doctor in case you require a surgery.
• Be aware of adverse reactions: When you mix certain drugs with alcohol and certain others with certain foods, you may suffer adverse reactions. Also, some drugs make you somnolent, so you need to rest after you take them and avoid driving and other work that requires you to focus. Talk about possible side effects with your health care provider before you fill out your prescription.
If you’re ever unsure about the drugs you’re taking or have any questions, don’t hesitate to call your doctor and have them clarified.
This guest post is contributed by Ashley M. Jones, who writes on the topic of pharmacist technician certification. She welcomes your comments at her email id: firstname.lastname@example.org.