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Do Not Take Your Prescription Medications Lightly

By Charles Hopkins Published 01/2/2008 | Health
There are numerous deaths every year from prescription drugs. People die from overdose, drugs interacting together in a negative way, taking the wrong medication and numerous other reasons.

Many of these deaths could have been prevented and it is up to you to take precautions. Here are just a few suggestions you should follow to keep from becoming a statistic.

1) Double check your prescription.

The Internet makes it easy to find out information about virtually any drug your doctor has prescribed. If you have any question as to why it was prescribed to you, ask.

Have you ever seen a doctor's handwriting? It is easily misinterpreted by a pharmacist. Before picking up your prescription, make certain you know what your doctor has prescribed and compare your notes with what you actually receive.

2) Make certain the drugs you now take interact with the new drug.

If you get all your prescriptions at one pharmacy, the new top-notch software they use will alert the pharmacist if there is a potential problem. Find out if your pharmacy has this in place and, if they do not, you should consider going to another pharmacy.

If you use different pharmacies for your prescriptions, make absolutely certain the pharmacist has a record in their computer showing what drugs you now take.

3) Make certain you know any side effects of your new medicine.

Do not be afraid to ask your doctor. They should make you aware of this but, if he or she does not then ask.

Check with your pharmacist as well.

3) If you take nonprescription drugs along with your regular prescription, talk to your pharmacist. Make certain these drugs do not interfere with your prescribed medications.

4) Store your prescriptions properly.

Heat and humidity can degrade drugs. If your medications require refrigeration, make certain you refrigerate them. If they do not, find a cool and dry area to store them.

5) Never use a prescription medication that has not been prescribed to you.

That sounds like common sense but, unfortunately, far too many times people take a drug their neighbor or friend or family gives them because they claim it works for them. That may be true. It may not work for you and may dangerously interfere with the medications you are currently taking.

Never ever break this rule!

6) Follow your doctor's orders to the letter.

Do not, under any circumstance, take additional doses on your own. Never stop taking these prescribed medications unless your doctor tells you to stop.

If you miss a dose, call your doctor. They will tell you the proper steps to follow. He or she may want you to double up on your medication or, they may tell you to simply take your next scheduled dosage. Let them make that decision.

Prescriptions can be life saving. Do not make them life threatening. Ultimately you are in control of your life so take this seriously. It may save your life.