How safe are your medications?

How safe are your medications?

Medications strong enough to cure you can also hurt you if they aren’t used correctly.

According to a 2008 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) report, serious and fatal adverse drug reactions have been ranked between the fourth and sixth leading causes of death. This fact makes it imperative to know the expected treatment, side effects, and potential interactions before starting any new medicine or dietary supplement (including vitamins or herbal supplements).

Be sure to ask if there are possible interactions with what you are currently using.

  • Know your medicines. Read the label and follow directions. Always ask for written information to take with you.
  • Know what to expect. When should you see results? What side effects can you expect?
  • Pay attention to how you are feeling; note any changes and tell your doctor.
  • Learn about the warnings for all the drugs you take.
  • Ask about interactions.
  • Call your provider if you have problems.

List it. Don’t risk it.

It is vitally important that you keep an up-to-date list of ALL the medications, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, herbal supplements, and minerals that you take. Review your complete list with your health care provider or pharmacist.

Listing your medications becomes even more important today when there seems to be a medication for virtually every illness. This is great news, but it is not without risk. Since many people have more than one health condition, there may be some medications that interfere with others causing decrease effectiveness or increased side effects.

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