Medication - Let's inform ourselves to help ourselves.

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Posted by Don Pearson UK ( on March 10, 2000 at 05:33:20:

We are all concerned about medication. We often seek unauthorised treatments. Although everyone here tries to help, most of us, myself included, simply cannot offer authoritative advice.

You really have to educate yourselves and it is (in UK, anyway) not difficult- just go to the library. Look, photocopy, take home.

My daughter's daily asthma drugs and my own chequered history with somewhat illegal substances, about which I did not want to tell my doctor, led me to look in British Pharmacopoeia about any medicine I was given. I have no doubt that you will have an equivalent publication, wherever you are. A lot will be on the net, up to date and authoritative.

Listed will be common side effects and adverse reactions, contra-indications (other medical conditions which mean a drug should not be given), interactions with other drugs.

Trust me - I'm a doctor? YEAH, SURE.
Do you of all people believe that? To check your medical history for a heart condition before he gives Sumatriptan? To know that ergotamine and Sumatriptan should not be taken within 24 hours of each other? (I was told after I had been taking both for three years)Propanolol and methysergide? (I daren't even tell you, except that they probably charge for amputation in US. At least I could have it free) To know about an interaction with an over the counter medicine you take? (You can get some pretty serious OTC preparations around the world and some interactions may be with very common medicines. Some contra-indications may be with common conditions (infections and prednisolone). Even the best doctors are very busy.("Oh, I am sorry, Don, I overlooked that. I'm very busy. Next patient." "OK, doctor, no problem", hops out of room)

Take charge. It's easy and sensible. It can help you distinguish likely side-effects from the psychosomatic. Don't worry. If you turn up something you don't like the look of, then get properly qualified advice from your doctor or pharmacist.

What have you got to lose by knowing what you are taking? How hard is it to find out?

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