Let’s be very honest. How many of us actually read those pages and pages of fine printed information that we get when we start a new prescription? And if we do manage to find a magnifying glass to read it, how many of us genuinely understand it all?
When we receive a script for new medication, it’s usually because something has happened – be it a disease, virus, injury, infection, or chronic medical condition. To start with, we aren’t at our very best. And there are times in our lives when we find we’re taking a number of different drugs for a variety of ailments. It’s important to realize that not all medications play well with each other. Some don’t even play well with certain foods or vitamin supplements.
It is important to review your medications, interactions and side effects. Foods like kale, grapefruit juice, dairy products, wine, bananas, and others can block the very effect your medication is trying to accomplish. But it can all be very confusing.
To help prevent any issues, it’s important to keep a list of all of your prescriptions and keep it with you when you go to the doctor. It should have the name of the drug, who prescribed it, and the dosage information. This list should also include any vitamin supplements you may take, as they can also cause unwanted side effects. It should be a very truthful list, including any alcohol, tobacco, or illicit drugs you may take. Show the list to the doctor when discussing the issue that brings you in. This way the doctor knows beforehand what you are already taking and what problems may arise with a new prescription – or if the issue could be from ones you are already taking.
Keep that list with you, even when you think you may not need it. Should an accident occur, this list may be the only way emergency staff will know what you are currently taking. It’s a way to help them give you the very best treatment.
Try to always go to the same pharmacy to have your prescriptions filled. This will help them, and their computer system, be more aware of incompatibility with certain drugs. Do your own research, if possible. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to handle your medicine without any undue effects.
And mostly, talk to people. Talk to your nutritionist, home health aide, nurse, and other care givers to understand completely the timing and interactions of your medicines. They are extremely versed in the effects of different drugs, foods, and physical conditions. These professional will help you avoid any damaging effects by guiding you through the fine print.