Which of your providers or pharmacists knows your WHOLE regimen of your medicines? When you go to your doctor you are likely asked about the medications you take. Some practices will ask you to include that information on a piece of paper on a clipboard in the waiting room. Some will hand you a computer with a list of questions that include your medicines. Still others will have the person checking you in ask you about your medications.
Do you take a list of all of your medications with you to the doctor?
Your doctor needs to know the names, the strength, the dose, and exactly how you take each medication.
Rather than try to memorize and remember all of this, make a list before you leave home.
- Some people take pictures of each medication label and keep them in their phone.
- Some people use the ‘Medical ID’ app on their smartphone.
- Some people keep a list printed and in their wallet where it can be easily found by emergency personnel if needed.
Do you include all medicines prescribed by all doctors?
Many of the people I meet think their doctors talk to one another and coordinate their care. Although this is the desire of your doctors, it often does not happen. Your doctors and other providers find it hard to catch up with one another. Even if they work for the same health-system, important details and explanations are often not shared.
- Include all medications coming from all of your doctors on your list.
- Don’t assume one doctor explained the latest changes to the other doctors.
Do you include all of the medicines and other substances you take?
All of the substances you take have the potential to interact with each other. This means they can be dangerous when combined. If no one knows each substance you take, then those interactions cannot be checked. It is important to have a thorough screen of your WHOLE regimen.
Include these items even if you only take them once in awhile.
I highly encourage you to include all of these on your written list.
- Over-the-counter pain medicine (e.g. Tylenol, ibuprofen, Aleve, aspirin)
- Stomach ache or acid reflux medicine
- Headache medicine
- Allergy medication
- Eye drops
- Nose sprays
- Cold, flu, congestion medicines
- Constipation or diarrhea medicines
- Medicated creams or ointments
- Herbal therapies
- Illicit drugs (at least tell your doctor about these)
I am finding that the people who make the decisions about your prescription medicines do not know all of these important facts. The over-the-counter, herbal, vitamin, and other substances can have side effects, cause problems, and interact just as prescription medications can.
Consider all of these to be MEDICATIONS! Let your doctors and pharmacist know your entire list – your whole regimen!
For more information about the importance of your complete medication list, or for a detailed review of your medication list, please contact us at www.medsmash.com.
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