Dangerous Medicine for Seniors

You are your own best friend when it comes to being wary of prescriptions your doctor writes because mixing any medicine, prescription or otherwise, can be very dangerous.

To make it even more dangerous, it’s almost a given that as we age, we find ourselves with more health problems. We frequent the offices of, not just a general practitioner, but specialists of various kinds – specialists in heart problems, arthritis problems, dental problems, eye problems, skin problems… the list goes on and on.

Almost every doctor we see writes prescriptions. A dentist may write a prescription for an antibiotic before working on your teeth, while a dermatologist may prescribe a different one for skin problems. The two probably will not mix!

Since one doctor cannot know what prescription another doctor has written, it’s up to you to tell them. Every time you go to a doctor of any kind, carry along a list of prescription medicine that you’re taking, both temporarily and long term.

The more doctors you see, the higher are your chances of mixing potentially deadly chemicals in your body. For every prescription medicine that’s taken, there is another prescription medicine that shouldn’t be taken with it. Reactions range from headaches and nausea to death.

Doctors have an enormous work load and can’t be expected to remember or to know everything about the thousands of drugs available. Your doctor may not even realize that the prescriptions he writes shouldn’t be taken together, so the more research you do for yourself, the safer you are.

Read the fine print on every box or bottle of medicine that you get. Often, the contraindications will mention a drug that reacts adversely to it, so pay attention.

Always know the real name of your medicine. For instance, lisinopril is known as Zestril and Prinivil. If you find that lisinopril shouldn’t be taken in any situation where potassium is at a high level, (for instance, potassium supplements – a potentially deadly mix) how will you know that your Zestril can kill you if you take it with a potassium retaining diuretic?

When you know the name of your medicine, look it up on the internet or at the library. For instance, your doctor may not know that kidney patients or shouldn’t take lisinopril.

I’m not picking on lisinopril – most other prescription drugs are dangerous, too, in the right circumstances.
There are NO drugs that are completely safe, and in this day of so many prescription drug choices as well as over the counter drugs, it’s all too easy to create the wrong mix.

Do your body a favor, and do your research before popping any pill, prescription or otherwise. If you have trouble reading the fine print, or getting to a library to do research, ask a family member or friend to do it for you. A few minutes of study and a little caution could save your life.

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