I found a great article on prescription drug safety. I know that I have been prescribed some medications, and have also taken OTC (over-the-counter) medicines without fully knowing all of the information. I was just desperately wanting to feel better, but some of the side effects, how long I needed to take them, and other important information was not communicated to me (or asked, by me).
Be smart about your prescriptions BEFORE you go into "auto pilot" and automatically fill them at the pharmacy without knowing all of the information! Below is a list of questions from MedlinePlus that you can use when speaking with your health care provider. Be sure to write in the answers while you are speaking with your doctor, as this will lead him/her to slow down and answer your questions, and you won't forget some of the answers.
"The National Council on Patient Information and Education recommends bringing a list of questions to be answered by your doctor and pharmacist for each prescription. The questions include:
* What is the name of the medicine and what is it for? Is this the brand name or the generic name?
* Is a generic version of this medicine available?
* How and when do I take it, and for how long?
* What foods, drinks, other medicines, dietary supplements, or activities should I avoid while taking this medicine?
* When should I expect the medicine to begin to work, and how will I know if it is working? Are there any tests required with this medicine?
* Are there any side effects, what are they, and what do I do if they occur?
* Will this medicine work safely with the other prescription and non-prescription medicines or dietary and herbal supplements I am taking?
* Do I need to get a refill? When?
* How should I store this medicine?
* Is there any written information available about the medicine?"