Prescription medicines can make us better and help maintain our health. But sometimes, they also bring side effects. Side effects, also known as adverse reactions, are undesirable effects that can occur even though you take medicine on time and at the correct dose. It can vary from minor problems like headaches and dizziness to life-threatening events like heart attacks.
All medications, including prescription drugs and OTC, risk side effects. And anyone can feel side effects, but we cannot know if a medicine will cause side effects for you since many factors can affect it. It may depend on the dosage, your age, your weight, the health problems you may have, and more. You can also experience side effects when starting to take a new medicine, changing the dose, or stopping medication intake. A medicine you’ve often taken without getting side effects may also suddenly cause side effects.
But the good news is, there are ways to lessen your risk of experiencing a side effect.
As a retail pharmacy dedicated to your care, we provide you with these tips to lower the risks of medication side effects.
- Ask for Help
Always check in with your doctor when it comes to your medications. This is to ensure that the medicine is working and that you’re taking the right dose. Talk to your healthcare provider regularly about possible side effects and what to do if you experience one. Know which side effects are severe or minor and which ones you can prevent.
Let your doctor or pharmacist know of any unexpected signs and symptoms as soon as you experience them. Some side effects may go away over time on their own as your body gets used to the new medication. Your doctor may recommend you adhere to your current prescription for a little longer. They may also suggest lowering your dose, trying a different drug, or adding another one.
- Read the information on your medicine labels and any stickers attached to the refill prescription bottle or box to know the side effects of your medicines. It is also smart to do your own research about your medications. Aside from asking your doctor, you can also search for reliable sources on the internet. You can also speak with other people who have comparable health concerns to you.
- Make sure you’re getting the right medicine. Ensure your healthcare provider understands your health condition and its signs and symptoms. Give your doctor the whole story, so they can diagnose you properly and prescribe an effective drug to treat it.
Create a list of all the prescription and over-the-counter medicines you are taking and inform them. Also include herbs and supplements, alcohol, and other drug use, and ask whether these will interact with your medications. Certain medicines may cause a bad reaction, such as making another medicine stronger or weaker or worsening another health problem.
Furthermore, never use another person’s prescription. Even if you have a similar medical condition, it may not be the right prescription or dose. Make sure to also order prescriptions from a trustworthy drugstore. Subscribe to one pharmacy, if possible. If you fill prescriptions in more than one, ensure that each of them has the same information about your medicines.
- Simplify your drug regimen. If you think you cannot track all the medications you are taking properly, ask your doctor or pharmacist to assist you in streamlining your drug regimen. Not taking the medication at the right time and dose can lead to serious adverse reactions.
Follow directions carefully and use your medicine as your doctor prescribed. Don’t stop taking or changing the dose of a medicine on your own if it doesn’t seem to be working without your doctor’s approval. For example, antibiotics must be taken in a full course to avoid getting sick again. Other medications also don’t work if you skip a dose, cut it in half, or take it with or without food.
You may be able to tolerate some side effects, especially if they’re not serious and temporary. But it doesn’t mean that you should be complacent. Medicines work in delicate harmony with your body and with each other. But one bad reaction can put you at risk for more medical problems.
Medicines are intended to help us live longer and healthier. But something unwanted or unexpected can happen to you when you take them the wrong way or mix certain drugs and supplements.
If you need more information, the expert advice of your doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare professionals can help you make the decision.
Cavalier Pharmacare is here to help you lower your risk of medication side effects. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or tell us if anything seems amiss.
Feel free to contact us at your most convenient time.