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Posts Tagged ‘OTC’

Tips for Using OTC and Prescriptions Drugs Safely

by admin on: February 20th, 2012

Consumers have a responsibility when it comes to using over-the-counter drugs (OTC) and prescription drugs safely. This responsibility can be discharged by following a few simple tips.

Always tell your doctor and pharmacist about the drugs you’re currently taking to avoid a drug interaction. Bring a list of drug allergies, dietary supplements, OTC drugs and prescription drugs you take on a regular basis with you to doctors appointments. When you pick up your medications at the pharmacy be sure to learn about the warnings, drug interactions, or food and beverage limitations your medication might have. When you get home, keep your medications in their original prescription bottles where the warning labels can be reread.

If you decide to use an OTC drug, check in with the pharmacist or your doctor to make sure you can take the drug with your existing prescription medications. Don’t drink alcohol when taking prescription or OTC drugs. Protect yourself by taking the recommended dose and don’t take the medication longer than prescribed or what the label suggests. This is particularly important with certain cough medicines, which can be risky to your health if abused.

Some people don’t realize that vitamins, supplements and holistic medications are also drugs. Don’t take these home remedies and supplements with prescribed medications, because your prescription may not work as well.

Never take your capsules apart or smash a tablet into your food or beverage without speaking to your doctor first. You may not get the necessary dose or mixing with food may cause an adverse effect. Putting medicine into a hot beverage may decrease the benefits of a medication. You could have a reaction to a medication even though you’d never had one before, so keep an eye on the warning labels.

You need to be an active participant in your health, so ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about your medications.