According to a study published by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, about 51.5 million of the 3 billion prescriptions filled in the United States each year contain some sort of error. That averages out to 4 out of every 250 prescriptions. And while the good majority of these mistakes are minor errors, there still remains an estimated 1 in 1,000 chance that one of these errors is a life-threatening one!
1. TIMING IS EVERYTHING! Pick up your prescriptions during down times. The busier the pharmacy, the more likely the errors. Steer clear if possible of Mondays, Fridays, just prior to holidays and the last day of the year, December 31. Everyone is trying to max out their prescription plans!
2. BEWARE OF LOOK-ALIKE NAMES! Double check if you’re getting, Celebrex (for arthritis pain) or Cerebyx (for epilepsy); Zyprexa (for bipoloar disorder and schizophrenia) or Zyrtec (for allergies); Topamax (for epilepsy and migraines) or Toprol-XL (for hypertension and migrains).
3. BEWARE OF SOUND-ALIKE NAMES! Clondine (for hypertension) or Klonopin (for anxiety); Lamivudine (for HIV infection) or Lamotrigine (for epilepsy); Prilosec (for grastroesophageal-reflex) or Prozac (for drepression or obsessive-compulsive disorder).
4. LETHAL COMBOS! Over-the-counter drugs and herbal remedies can be harmful just like prescription drugs. Be sure to tell your doctor and/or pharmacist any and all ‘drugs’ that you are taking.
5. FRUIT JUICE, SURPRISE ATTACK! Did you know that drinking grapefruit juice can cause your body to absorb too much of the drugs that you might be taking? Studies show that you should wash down your pills with water; not grapefruit juice or other fruit juices, for that matter!
6. BE PROACTIVE. Be your own best advocate. Ask questions! Clarify names of drugs, amounts to be taken, with whatever drugs you may or not may mix these drugs. And if you don’t like the answer, ask again!
Spread the word … NOT the icing!
Janice Taylor is a Life & Wellness Coach, specializing in weight loss, reinvention, transformation & happiness, author, seminar leader and 50-pound-BIG-Time-LOSER! Write Janice for an Introductory Coaching Session.
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