A: The average American takes between two and seven prescription drugs daily. Managing these medications properly is essential for good health. It’s crucial that you read all medication labels carefully and heed any drug, alcohol or food interaction warnings given.
• Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medications, supplements and remedies you take. Be sure to include prescription and nonprescription drugs, vitamins and herbal remedies.
• Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medications. To help with the review, create a list including the name of each medicine, the doctor who prescribed it, the amount you take and the number of times you take it each day.
• Know how much to take; whether to take it with food or water; what to do if you forget a dose; and what foods, drinks and activities to avoid.
• Know which side effects to expect and what to do about them. Many medications have known side effects that may occur, depending on your health and reaction to the drug’s ingredients. Knowing which ones are normal and which require medical attention is important.
• Get prescriptions filled far enough in advance to avoid running out.
• Follow any warnings regarding food or alcohol interactions with your medicines.
Drug interactions are more likely to be caught if one pharmacist fills all your prescriptions. If you are still having trouble keeping it all straight, ask your pharmacy if they do any specialty medication packaging. Finally, don’t take someone else’s prescription medication.
Information provided by Jane Clausen, Adel Health Mart, 113 N. Ninth St., 993-3644.