According to an article by Patricia Barry, published in the September, 2011 AARP Bulletin, which discusses side effects of prescription medications, the following are ways to avoid dangerous drug reactions:
If you experience a change that doesn't feel right, tell your doctor. Ask if the symptom could be a drug side effect. It may be an expected effect that will wear off soon. But it also may signal a serious medical problem.
If you're taking several drugs, ask your doctor or pharmacist to review them.Ask if there can be interaction problems with your drugs and even vitamins and supplements. Consider seeing a certified consultant pharmacist trained in managing a number of drugs, usually for a fee. If you're in a Medicare Advantage health plan, ask if you qualify for its medications therapy management service.
Ask if there are lifestyle changes you can make instead of taking a drug. Very often patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes can minimize side effects or avoid drugs altogether by losing weight, exercising more and stopping smoking.
Ask to be prescribed drugs that have been on the market for at least seven years. It often takes five to 10 years for serious side effects of a new drug to show up in the general population. Some reactions surface only after the patient has been on the drug for a year or more.
Ask why the doctor is prescribing a particular drug. Find out what the risks and benefits are, compared to alternative drugs.
Don't stop taking a drug without consulting your doctor. Suddenly stopping some drugs can be harmful.
Resources: Use AARP's Drug Interaction Checker to review your medications online.
Read Consumers Reports' Best Buy Drugs for information on effectiveness and safety of drugs according to scientific evidence.
Locate a certified geriatric pharmacist for help managing medications.
For more information on dangerous drugs or medical devices, please contact the Brevard County personal injury attorneys at Charpentier Law Firm, P.A.