Sunday, October 12, 2008

General Health Topic - Know YOUR Medications

Hello Everyone!

Drug, Medications, Pills Tablets, Capsules, Suppositories, Troches, Injections, Nasal sprays, Eye drops, Ear Drops.........

It's hard to keep track of them all.I know that the goal is for folks not to HAVE to take drugs. Because when we do, it usually means something is not quite right. It could be high blood pressure, cancer, headache, constipation or a myriad of other problems. Of course, sometimes we take drugs because we want vitamins to try to stay healthy. Hopefully YOU don't have to take any medications. But, if you do, do you know what they are? What the drugs are for, the strength of the medications, how you are supposed to take them?I am not talking about a conversation like this:

Dr. Paul "Hi Ms Garcia, I need to update your medication profile, tell me the drugs you are taking."

Ms Garcia "Hello Dr. Paul. I am taking a little blue pill in the morning. I think it is for my heart and I take a round pink pill at night. I'm not sure what it is for."

I know what you are thinking, It doesn't go like that, does it? Yes it does! Or you might be saying, That sounds like me! Or my Mom/Dad, or my Grandmother/Father.

As a pharmacist that conversation doesn't help me one bit. More importantly, IT DOESN'T HELP YOU!

See how this one sounds to you.Dr. Paul "Hi Ms Garcia, I need to update your medication profile, tell me the drugs you are taking."

Ms Garcia "Hello Dr. Paul. I am taking Lasix 20mg in the morning at 8am for my blood pressure. I also take Coreg 6.25mg twice daily at around 8am and 8pm for my blood pressure."

Now we're talking.But wait, you are probably saying, How am I supposed to remember all those crazy sounding names and numbers and stuff. I'm lucky to remember to take the pills!I realize that. It's hard to remember brand name and generic names of drugs. They are hard to pronounce and the chemical name....forget it! They also come in all sorts of mg strengths and sizes... it can make your head swim.

Here come the pointers.Looking at your medication bottles, write down the name of the drug, the strength, how often you are supposed to take it, etc. on a piece of paper. If you know why you are taking it, write that down as well. Do that for every drug you are taking.

Now, take that list and put it in your wallet or purse. Make copies of that list and give them to your kids so they know what you are taking.Try to remember to update that list every time you add or delete a medication. So next time you need to know the drugs you are taking, pull out your list.You can write the list with your computer, print it out and that way it can be more legible. Easier to update as well.. There are forms available online or you can pick up medication cards at your pharmacy if you need themThere are many great computer programs available to help you keep track of your medications and health information. Some are free, some charge for their product. They are all good. Probably way better than you are using now.

Here are some links that you may find helpful: get up right now. No, not later....Right now and get your list together. Don't forget to put it in your purse or wallet. It may save your life one day.

NO Kidding!

Until later,

Dr. Paul