Mind Your Medicine

Part of self-care is practicing awareness with the things you do and why you do them. It is important to ask these questions when thinking about your exercise, food, work, relationships, thoughts, mentality, and medications. Medications? You heard it. It is especially important to often take inventory of the medication you are taking.

Statistics on Drug Use in America

According to the Mayo Clinic, nearly 70 percent of Americans (the highest ever) are taking prescription drugs. The study conducted also found that the most commonly prescribed drugs are antibiotics, antidepressants, and painkilling opioids. Another study conducted found that 81 percent of adults use over the counter drugs as a first response to minor ailments.

Necessary vs. Unnecessary

There are without a doubt many physical, mental, and emotional ailments that require the use of medication. But within the last decade alone, there are more cases than ever of unnecessary use of prescription and over the counter drugs. So much so that doctors are being encouraged to pause before prescribing drugs and consider 'de-prescribing' as well.

Your Role & The Doctor

Before taking any medication, be sure you are well informed about the drug. Write down questions you may have before the appointment or call the doctor's office following the appointment. Make sure that you have all the information you need to be confident that the medication is necessary. In addition, ask about side effects and possible drug interactions.

Your Role & You

To practice self-care, be sure to ask these questions before and during the taking of either a prescription medication or over the counter drugs.

Why am I taking it?
When do I take it?
What should I do if I miss a dose?
Whom do I call if I have questions?
How long will I take this medication?
When should I expect to feel better?
What are the side effects?
Where should it be stored?

If you have any questions about a medication you are currently taking or thinking about taking, first call your doctor's office right away. Speak to a either a nurse or a doctor to ensure your safety and understanding. Another resource (which should not replace speaking to a medical professional), is Drugs.Com which offers a full list of medication, pill identifier, side effects, interaction checker, Q&A's, and more.

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