You don’t have to look very hard to find news about prescription medications these days. The “opioid crisis” has been part of the national discussion since the 2016 election, and has been a growing topic ever since.
Some of the more commonly abused opioids are prescription pain relievers, which have come under growing scrutiny by federal authorities in the past few years because of a massive increase of deaths from overdose. To combat the issue, feds are pointing medical centers to each state’s electronic databases which“ track the prescribing and dispensing of controlled prescription drugs to give prescribers and pharmacists information regarding a patient’s prescription history.” The data can help identify patients at high-risk who would benefit from early interventions.
If you are a patient in need of prescription medicines, there are a few things you should know to give you the best tools to properly manage your meds. First and foremost- participation with your doctor. Don’t be a passenger on your ride to better health. Be an active participant.
Best practices also include keeping a list of all your medications and consulting your doctor before adding new medications to an established regimen to avoid negative drug interactions. It is also beneficial to understand the difference between generic and name-brand medications. The difference may not be quite as great as you think. For details on generic vs. name brand, click here.
According to John Muir Health, you should double check with your pharmacist to make sure the prescription, label on the prescription bottle, and the pills themselves are all in sync. Additionally, never take medications prescribed to somebody else, and store your pills properly; out of the sun, out of children’s reach, and if recommended, in the refrigerator.
Lastly, the CDC says people should share their lists of medications with a reliable family member or friend. If you are taken to a hospital and are disoriented or unable to speak, it will be extremely helpful to doctors if somebody can provide a list of current prescriptions and a general medical history.
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