Mountain View Medical Supply

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Attention Ostomates: Prevent Drug Interactions

Republished from via Ostomy Association of Metro Denver, Inc., July/August 2013

Drug interactions are serious business.  Interactions can reduce the effectiveness of drugs; the drugs don't work as well as they should.  At other times, drug interactions lead to serious complications, such as drowsiness, slowed reactions, stomach upset, liver damage, dizziness, lightheadedness, irregular heartbeat, and a sudden rise in blood pressure. 

Pay attention to how your body responds to medicines and be sensitive to side effects.  Don't assume these effects are normal.  You can prevent some interactions by becoming a wiser health consumer.

Read labels and package inserts carefully.  Pay particular attention to the "Warning" and "Precaution" sections.  Review this information each time you get a refill; guidelines for use change as more is learned.

Keep a list of your medication in your medicine cabinet as well as in your wallet or purse.

Before you take a new medication, ask:
- What is the name of this medication?
- Can I take this with other medications?
- Should I avoid certain foods, beverages, or other products?
- How does this medicine work in the body?
- What other kinds of precaution are necessary?
- Is there additional written information that I could read about the medicine?

Go to one pharmacy for all your prescriptions.

Good record-keeping can reduce the risk of interactions.  Many pharmacies have their records computerized. 

Don't use outdated drugs, bottles that appear to have been tampered with, or another person's prescription. 

Know ahead of time what to do if anything goes wrong when taking medicine.  Know who to contact and how to reach him/her.  Keep phone numbers of your doctors on hand next to the phone, and on a card you carry in your wallet or purse. 

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