Posted in Medications

Trick or Treat(ment)

Happy Halloween!!

Can’t believe we’re at the end of October, closing in on the last eight weeks of the year.  The healthcare reform debate in Washington makes everything related to healthcare front and center.  It could be that because of all the healthcare talk it’s in our consciousness and what has always been there is really being seen, doesn’t matter cause we’ll take it any way we can get it.

I’m finding lots of information about two particular topics, misdiagnosis and drug interactions.  Misdiagnosis although decreasing due to better diagnostic techniques is still a cause of death in too many cases.  Overwhelmingly the reason seems to be not allowing the patient to tell their story in its entirety.  This happens in every profession, in a race to be right we don’t allow the storyteller to complete their story.  We miss out on valuable information because the storyteller shuts down and unfortunately when it comes to medicine that could be the key that unlocks the diagnosis.

The other area of concern is drug interactions.  I know that there is a desire to find the magic bullet that will cure your health challenge.  The problem is that we’re not pharmacists so we don’t understand the interactions.  Just because something is sold over the counter doesn’t make ti safe.  It may be fine when take by itself, but combine it with anything else, another over the counter medication, a prescription, or a supplement and we begin to have problems.  When asked what we’re taking it’s not uncommon to leave out the over the counter meds and the supplements (herbal or otherwise) and that’s a big mistake.  The concern is that many contain ingredients that are listed as inactive and too many people don’t consider the impact these inactive ingredients can have on the body. 

Want the best care?  Before taking anything other than what’s prescribed, contact your pharmacist and do a consult.  Don’t wind up in the emergency room because of a drug interaction.  Don’t play pharmacist, play informed patient and use the team you’ve assembled that will guide you on your road to wellness.

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