When Prescription Drugs Can Be Dangerous
Drugs, both over the counter and prescription, are used by people to treat acute and chronic health conditions. They relieve symptoms, cure infections, and enhance or prolong quality of life. These drugs go through trial testing and must meet strict government guidelines to determine their safety and efficacy before they are ever made available to the general public. When medications are prescribed by a physician or specialist as a form of treatment, they should be taken as directed in order to be effective and safe.
Not every treatment works for every patient, and they can cause problems such as side effects, drug interactions, allergic reactions, and other situations that may be life-threatening. Patients should advocate for their safety when using prescription drugs through communication with their healthcare providers. Medications can be dangerous when used improperly, whether the misuse is accidental or intentional, and there may be serious health consequences. Follow these tips to ensure your health through the proper use of prescription drugs.
Follow Doctor’s Orders
Medication should be taken as directed in order to obtain therapeutic benefits. Physicians write prescriptions to fit the needs of each individual patient, adjusting dosages to account for weight, age, and other factors. Make sure to finish a prescription even if symptoms have improved, as they could recur or resist additional treatment. You should never alter the dosage, or take another person’s prescription medication because serious health consequences may occur.
Be Aware of Side Effects
Researching potential side effects and informing your doctor of all medical history is essential in ensuring your safety. We encourage our patients to be advocates of their health in all situations, which includes being informed about the medication you’re prescribed and addressing any concerns with your physician. If you’re reacting adversely to medication, don’t be afraid to ask for alternative treatment. If you are the primary caretaker of an ill loved one, make sure to watch for negative side effects and advocate on their behalf, if necessary.
Maintain a List of All Prescriptions
Patients may see more than one physician, so it is best to have a list of all medications and additional supplements to reduce the likelihood of drug interactions with a new prescription. With this information, doctors can determine the best treatment to reduce the risk of side effects. A list can be kept in a wallet or purse or a photo of all medications on a smartphone can be kept for easy reference.
Know Addiction Warning Signs
One of the biggest concerns with prescription medication is the danger of becoming addicted. Look out for any changes in mood and behavior after using prescription drugs or if a loved one is using a new medication. If agitation, irritability, or anxiety related to procuring medications develops, you need to alert the treating physician. Dependence can also develop without typical symptoms. Family members should contact a healthcare professional if patients become overly concerned with the status of their medication, including how often they take it or any attempts to gain access to more than prescribed. Some patients may recognize signs of addiction, but others may not be able to identify symptoms in themselves as easily. It’s essential to build a support system to identify and promptly address signs of dependence.
To learn more about addiction, visit the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Addiction’s website and read their blog about identifying signs and symptoms of drug dependence.
Communicate With Your Physician
Doctors prescribe drugs based on the information provided through a patient history, as well as the results of tests and observations during physical exams. If side effects, potential addiction, or other adverse reactions arise, the patient or family members should contact the physician or specialist to relay that information. It is best to share concerns when they develop to resolve them quickly. By waiting to communicate any drug-related issues, the patient’s health may be further compromised and treatment impeded.
Golden Triangle Emergency Center wants every patient to achieve the best results from their prescription medication. Please visit us immediately if an emergency develops due to misuse, severe reactions or overdose occur from a prescription medication. We’re here for patients, day or night, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with top quality medical care provided in a comfortable environment with short wait times. Let us know if you’ve ever experienced adverse side affects to a medication and how you addressed your concerns with your physician.