10 Tips for Responsible Medication Use

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All medications, including prescription, preparation of over-the-counter, vitamin and mineral supplements, and herbal remedies, which are potentially dangerous. Here are a few simple rules will not only reduce your chances of having a problem, but it should reduce costs as well.
  1. Always shop around for drugs - there are significant differences in cost from pharmacy to pharmacy. Check the source of both online and offline. For example, some of my patients have realized significant cost savings by using the Costco pharmacy and online Canadian pharmacies. If you choose to use a Canadian pharmacy, please follow the legal developments that may affect your purchase.
  2. Always check to see if a generic equivalent is available. Today, there are few drugs on the market where generic drugs can not be accepted.
  3. If you can, have your prescription filled for 90 days. It will cost less than if you bough 30 days worth of more than 3 months. One of the reasons is that pharmacies charge charge for each prescription filled.
  4. You'll drugs allows you to take half a tab? For example, if you are taking lisinopril 20mg, you can purchase 40mg tablets and break them in half - a savings of 50%. Always check with your health care provider and / or pharmacist first ... not all drugs can be damaged. Also, consider a nice little pill cutter ... they work wonderfully.
  5. Do you really have to take all that medicine in the first place? The best advice I can give you is to put everything in a bag and take it with you to your appointment. Make sure that you and your provider are on the same page when it comes to medications / supplements you are taking. This is especially true when you see more than one prescription provider. You may have duplicates that you do not realize. Always ask ... "I really need this"?
  6. Keep a list of up-to-date copy of your medications with you at all times.
  7. It is your responsibility to learn the names of your medications and why you take them! Most likely, your provider will not know what you mean by "little pink pill" or "white capsule". There are literally dozens of each.
  8. Check your medication before you leave the pharmacy. If something goes wrong, ask about it right then. DO NOT take something you're not familiar with.
  9. Follow the label directions. If you take something for osteoporosis, chances are you were told to take with a full glass of water, sitting upright while avoiding other foods or fluids for 30 minutes. They are not making this up! This applies to the preparation of labels on over-the-counter. This is one time that "if a little is good, a lot must be better" could be a dangerous idea.
  10. Another very important tip. If possible, it is in your best interest to have a primary care provider. Ideally, he will coordinate your care with specialists, and keep track of all the medications you are on. If you have a profile on record, then between the major providers of you, and one pharmacist, problems in your medications should be picked up.
  11. This bonus tip comes from the lessons taught to me by a wonderful patient me ... If you and your partner both take medication, do not mix. This can have serious consequences!
  12. While proper nutrition and exercise are the mainstay of treatment for most health challenges, medication use is sometimes unavoidable. Make sure you need them; know what they are and how to take them. Follow the directions and do not share! Most of all, always trying to understand what you're taking and what is suppose to do for you.

Your body will thank you.

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