Taking Prescriptions

By AM Northwest Staff

Ronda Gates joined us today to discuss everything you need to know about prescriptions. Check out the video!

For more information about Ronda and her tips please click here.

And here are some of her tips:


Ask for samples.

Rx can be expensive; Trial samples can help you decide if the drug will work for you

Ask what your medication is for.

Knowing the expected benefit will support continued use of a medication.

Ask how soon you can expect results.

Don’t expect immediate results from every medication. Anti-depressants, for example, can take up to 3 weeks to be effective.

Don't keep secrets from your physician or pharmacist.

Too many people fail to tell their doctor they are self-medicating because they are embarrassed. That sets the stage for drug interactions

Avoid drug interactions; don’t combine prescriptions with other pills without informing your physician and pharmacist. Keep a written record of all prescriptions, vitamins, over the counter pills and potions.

Rx can react with other over the counter products, herbs or food. Eg: anti coagulants with aspirin &/or ginkgo &/or garlic; statin + grapefruit juice (juice inc the amt of statin absorbed) by deterring metabolism of drug;

Record reactions to new medications; if side effects, describe them.

Written results are easier to share with your doctor. You don’t have to worry about forgetting what you wanted to tell this professional.

Buy all prescriptions from same pharmacy.

Computers allow pharmacists to predict drug interactions. When you are seeing more than one physician, you are susceptible to drug interactions because these docs rarely talk to one another about your treatment.

Establish a relationship with your pharmacist.

These well trained professionals can be a best choice resource for helping you understand more about the options for treatment of what ails you. They can suggest alternatives or generics and they often know about resources physicians are not aware of

Avoid drug abuse. Take medicine as directed. Finish the entire course of treatment.

Up to half of the people who use medicine don’t use them as prescribed. The timing of drug dosage is based on how quickly a drug is absorbed and metabolized. You alter the treatment of your condition when you don’t take a medication as directed. If you miss a dose, don’t double up the next time. If it’s more than six hours since the dose was delivered, check with your pharmacist about the feasibility of waiting until the next dose is due.

When directions stay "Take on an empty stomach" it’s because food can deter absorption of that drug. Eg. Tylenol

But…aspirin….ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and naproxen (Aleve) irritate stomach so take with food….

Take drug on time

Keep medication in a cool, dry, dark place.

Light and heat can alter the effectiveness of medication.

If possible, keep pills in original containers.

If in a box…label the box lid…

Be sure when refilling that the pill looks familiar.

Although drug availability changes and some medications soon become available over the counter or a generic may be available as an alternative to your former medication, anytime your refill looks different than what you have been taking before, ask your pharmacist if you are receiving the same medication you got before.

Don't take other people's medicine.

This is drug abuse. When you take someone else’s medicine with or without permission you are setting the stage for dangerous reactions.

Don’t discard medicine in the toilet or down the sink. It goes into the ground and/or water supply. Don’t throw them in the trash where they might be taken by someone else (child, dog). Return unused medication to a pharmacy where it

will go into a special "biowaste" bin and eventually incinerated (i.e., they aren't allowed to resell them, even if they are still sealed).

Resource for information about individual drugs: Rxlist.com


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