Saturday, October 8, 2011

How to Avoid Adverse Reactions to your Medications

The Truth About DrugsImage by Thomas Hawk via Flickr
Have you ever felt not just right, but not sick enough to stay in bed? It could indeed be something that you ate, but if you are on a medication regemin, it just might be your medication.

With the growing numbers of Americans taking medications for chronic conditions as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, many people suffer from unknown side effects such as headaches, swollen ankles and palpitations.  For this reason, many folks are non-compliant with taking medications. Side effects can be devastating.  What can you do to avoid experiencing some of the serious drug reactions from regular prescription medication use?

Protect yourself

These steps can help protect you from some of the dangerous side effects of your medicationsIf you have a questions, please call your doctor or pharmacist.

If you start feeling out of sorts while taking any medication, notify your doctor. Discuss with your doctor what you are feeling.  Ask him if this could be a medication side effect.

Make sure that you use the same pharmacy for all medications, that way the pharmacist can maintain a log of all meds which will make it easier to recognize potentially lethal drug combinations.

I noticed in my practice as a nurse that many people will opt for the easier way out of dealing with a medical problem - taking a pill.  Try being more proactive and involved with your health by making lifestyle changes. Such changes may include the usual recommendations of losing weight, more fruits and vegetables, stress reduction and relaxation.

Don't be too quick to job with new medications. I just can't fathom how medications can be released for the general public anyway without this information.  Ask your doctor for a medication that has been out at least five to ten years.

Don't forget to ask your doctor why he is prescribing a medication.  Many times I have spoken with patients and asked these questions as part of a medical history and they often don't know why they are taking many medications.

Don't stop taking a medication suddenly. Stopping some medications suddenly can be lethal.

By using some of these common sense measures, hopefully, you can protect yourself and loved ones against drug reactions.


Barry, Patricia, " This side of side effects" AARP Magazine

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