Have you ever seen those commercials for the different prescription drugs? This drug is good for this and that drug is good for that. They suggest that if you are experiencing X symptoms then this is the right drug for you and then prompt you to ask your doctor to write a prescription for you. You go to your appointment asking for these drugs by its brand name. The commercials also list a number of side effects that you should be aware of because they may happen. Some include nausea, headaches, pain, etc.. I’ll spare you of some of the more gruesome side effects. But do you ever really pay attention to the long list that they share? Do you ever read the fine print?
A relative of mine had been experiencing some pain and had trouble walking. So she scheduled an appointment and went in for a “routine” shot in her hip to deal with what was causing the inflammation. However, just after receiving that shot she started feeling some side effects like tingling and numbness on her side and had to go to the hospital shortly after leaving the doctor’s office. She ended up having an extended hospital stay for a mild stroke which left her speech slurred and with limited use of the left side of her body! Wow- right? Who would have thought that could’ve happened right?? They give out these shots every day!! Now she needed physical therapy and help with daily activities. She’s recovering, but it’s certainly going to take a lot of time to be fully restored. It’s likely and very possible that the stroke was caused by the medication that she was given. Perhaps it was an interaction with something else she was already taking.
Even though we don’t know for sure there’s a few things we can be aware of for ourselves and our loved ones the next time a medication is recommended.
1. Inquire about possible interactions:
• Ask the doctor why they are recommending taking this drug.
2. Know what your current medications are and the possible side effects:
• When your prescription is filled it often comes with a list; Read it and be and be aware.
• If anything strange pops up then you will know that something isn’t right!
3. If you feel funny don’t just chalk it up to being sick:
• You know your body! If you feel any kind of side effect – notify your physician immediately!
These are 3 key things to be aware of when a prescription is recommended. Be informed. Ask questions! Don’t be afraid to be an advocate for your loved ones and yourself!
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