10 Tips for Responsible Medication Use

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All medications, including prescriptions, over-the-counter preparations, vitamin and mineral supplements, and herbal preparations, are potentially dangerous. Following some simple rules won’t just reduce your chance of having a issue, but should reduce your cost as well.

– Always shop around for medications – there’s a significant difference in price from pharmacy to pharmacy. Assess both online and offline resources. By way of example, several of my patients have realized a significant cost savings by utilizing the Costco pharmacy as well as online Canadian pharmacies. Should you decide to utilize a Canadian pharmacy, please keep abreast of any laws that may affect your purchase.
– Always check to find out if a generic equivalent is available. Today, there are hardly any medications on the market where generics are not acceptable.
– If you can, have your prescription filled for 90 days. It’ll cost less than if you bough 30 days worth more than 3 months. Among the reasons is that pharmacies charge a filling fee for each prescription filled.
– Can you medication allow you to take a half-tab? By way of example, if you are taking lisinopril 20mg, then you can purchase 40mg tablets and break them in half – a savings of 50%. Always consult your health care provider and/or pharmacist . . .not all medications can be broken. Also, consider those nifty little pill cutters. . .they work wonderfully.
– Do you really have to take all that medication in the first place? The best advice I can give you is to put everything into a bag and take it with you to your appointment. Make certain that you and your provider are on the same page in regards to medications/supplements that you are taking. This is especially true once you are seeing more than one prescribing provider. You may have duplicates that you are unaware of. Always ask…”do I really need this”?
– Maintain an up-to-date list of your medications with you at all times.
– it’s your responsibility to learn the names of your medications and why you are taking them! Most likely, your supplier doesn’t understand what you mean by the”little pink pill” or the”white capsule”. There are literally dozens of each.
– Check your medications before you leave the pharmacy. If something doesn’t seem right, ask about it right then. DO NOT take something you are unfamiliar with.
– Follow label instructions. If you are taking something for osteoporosis, then chances are you’re advised to take it with a full glass of water, sitting upright whilst avoiding any other food or fluids for thirty minutes. They weren’t making it up! This goes for the labels on over-the-counter preparations. This is one time that”if a little is good, a lot has to be better” can be a dangerous thought.
– Another very important tip. If at all possible, it’s in your best interest to have a primary care provider. Ideally, they will coordinate your care with specialists, and keep track of all of the medications you are on. For those who have a comprehensive profile on record, then involving your one primary supplier, and your one pharmacist, any issues on your medications should be picked up.
– If you and your partner both take medication, do NOT mix them up. It can have serious consequences!

While proper nutrition and exercise are the mainstays of treatment for many health challenges, medication usage is sometimes unavoidable. Make certain to need them; understand what they are and how to take them. Follow instructions, and do not share! Most of all, always attempt to understand what you are taking and what it is suppose to do for you.