A Few Mistakes to Avoid When You're Given Prescription Medication

Posted on

When your doctor wants to prescribe medication for you, it's vital that you use that medication properly; this will reduce the risk of side effects, and also ensure the medication is as effective as possible. While your doctor may give you pointed and specific instructions on how to take the medication, note a few common mistakes that many people make when using their meds. As these mistakes can make that medication ineffective and downright dangerous, you'll want to avoid them yourself, and ensure you're doing everything to maintain your overall health.

Not asking the name of the medication

A doctor may not always tell you the name of the medication as he or she writes out your prescription, but it's good to ask the name anyway, so you can double-check the actual medication you're given at the pharmacy. Rarely do mistakes happen when medications are prescribed, but a doctor's handwriting isn't always the best, and a pharmacist may misread a prescription slip. By knowing the name of your prescription, you can double-check the label and ensure you're getting the right medicines.

Not mentioning supplements, herbs, and other meds

You may know to always inform your doctor of other medications you're taking so that you avoid a drug interaction with your new prescription; however, you may not realize that many supplements, herbs, and even over-the-counter medications can also interfere with that prescription. Be sure to mention to your doctor anything you take on a regular basis, including vitamins, natural remedies such as melatonin, aspirin, sleeping aids, sinus pills, and the like. He or she can then change your prescription medication or adjust the dosage, or whatever else is needed to ensure your overall good health.

Cutting pills

If the pills you're prescribed are difficult to swallow, you don't want to cut them without asking your doctor first, as cutting pills can actually mean shaving off so much of the pill that you're not getting a full, needed dose. Instead, note if your doctor might be able to prescribe the medication in a different form. He or she may even send you to a compounding pharmacy, where the pharmacist makes medications from scratch, rather than ordering medications that are mass produced in a factory. These pharmacists can often make the medications you need in various forms, such as soft gel tablets, chewable tablets, or syrups. Discuss this option with your doctor rather than thinking you can simply cut pills in order to make them more manageable.