8 easy tips to avoid supplement, medication mishaps

October 12, 2011 14:16

It's important to be organized while navigating the medication maze which can get confusing, especially when you have multiple prescriptions.

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Medicine [illustrative]

Medicine pills drugs prescription 311. (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)

NEW YORK - Navigating the supplement and medication maze can get confusing especially when you have multiple prescriptions. It is important to organize yourself with your medications and supplements to prevent unnecessary mishaps.

Dr. Lorraine J. Gudas and Dr. Mark S. Lachs offered these key tips on how to stay on track with your medications and steer clear of unsafe drug interactions at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center's 29th Annual Women's Health Symposium:

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1. Keep a list of your medications with you at all times.

2. Make sure to include brand AND generic names as well as dosages and frequency.

3. Include all vitamins and supplements on the list.

4. Share the list with every health care provider you come in contact with, whether or not he or she suggests new medicines or medicine changes.

5. Never mix medications in the same bottle even if traveling; taping an actual pill to your medication list can help you identify which medicine is which.

6. When you hear about a new drug or a health tip, ask yourself: Is this based on a clinical trial, an observational study, or only personal endorsements?

7. Don't make health decisions on the basis of observational studies. They are interesting to think about, but they don't prove anything.

8. If you are thinking of buying a supplement or drug, ask your doctor's opinion. Don't take them on the basis of personal testimony.

This article was first published at www.newswise.com

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