Thursday, February 25, 2010
This is a warning to anyone using prescription drugs. Take the time to do some research on the drugs you are taking. Don't just take the word of the doctor that prescribed the drug.
Over the last week, I averted a drug interaction problem which could have had devastating consequences. I start chemotherapy for a cancer. The medical oncologist nurse gave me an informational sheet about the chemo drug.
As I researched the drug on the internet, I found an article that warned of an interaction with one of my maintenance drugs (one I have been taking for almost 20 years). While not immediately life threatening, in time it would have taken some blood count to dangerous levels.
The problem was confirmed by another of my doctors. Now I will be on a different maintenance drug.
I point this out because I found this because I did some research. The medical center that cares for my health has a full list of my medications. Someplace they missed the interaction.
My prescription drug plan would not have found the problem because the chemotherapy drug would be administered at the Med Center.
If you are not on an insurance plan that has prescription drug coverage, you are at higher risk. Take the time to visit with your local pharmacist. He/she will be able to tell you of any possible interactions.
Always keep a list of your medications in your wallet. In case of an emergency, the medical staff can check your medication list before they administered a drug than my not compatible with the drugs you are already taking.
Finally, never take over-the-counter drugs and/or herbal remedies without consent by your primary care doctor.