PRESCRIPTION DRUG SAFETY
June 13, 2018
Although our doctors and our pharmacists make every effort to ensure that the drugs we are prescribed are safe. Following some basic information will help you to help them keep you safe.
INFORM YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT YOUR PRESCRIPTION DRUG USAGE
When you go to the doctor, make sure that he knows all of the medicines you are taking. Whether prescription medicines or over-the-counter medicines. The number one medical problem associated with prescriptions is adverse drug interactions. Knowing the drugs you take can help the doctor prescribe the appropriate medicine.
AT THE PHARMACY
Make certain that the medicine you get from the pharmacist matches what the doctor prescribed. The handwriting of doctors is often hard to read, and mistakes can happen. Determine the medicine that the doctor prescribed, and then make sure that you are, in fact, given that medicine. If the prescription names do not match, ask questions of your pharmacist.
ASK PRESCRIPTION DRUG QUESTIONS
Ask how many times each day to take each pill. Should it be taken with meals or between meals, and so on. Make sure that you understand the instructions before leaving the pharmacy. If you look at many prescription labels, you will occasionally see that doctors and pharmacists use old-fashioned Latin abbreviations. Unless you happen to know that “p.r.n.” is an abbreviation meaning “take as needed”. Or that “b.i.d.” means “take twice each day,” it is easy to become confused.
KEEP MEDICINES WELL OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN
Keep your medicines away from children. Parents are usually very mindful of this, but grandparents are not. Simply because they don’t have young children visiting often. Child-proof caps are in common use now, but should not be relied upon.
If you are taking multiple medications, a chart or a “day-by-day” pillbox might be useful to ensure that you take the pills only as often as you are supposed to. DO NOT ignore the directions for use. Take medicines exactly as prescribed, no more and no less. If you believe that the medication is not working as it is supposed to, call your prescribing doctor.
Finally, if you feel that you are having an adverse or abnormal reaction to a medicine that you are taking, call your doctor immediately. Or even an ambulance, depending on the severity of the symptoms. There are so many medicines available today, all of which interact with one another and all of which affect different people in different ways. An adverse or abnormal reaction may be the first sign of a serious medical problem.
If you or a loved one has suffered any negative, harmful side-effects while taking any prescription drug, or any other dangerous drug, contact our office. We will go to work for you to get you every restitution you deserve under the law.