However, approximately half of these Americans do not know what they are taking or why. This blog post will discuss the consequences of not taking your medicines as prescribed and why it’s essential to keep tabs on your prescriptions.
Your medications have side effects
The main reason to keep track of your prescriptions is that you want to be aware of adverse reactions. All drugs have them, no matter how benign they may seem. For example, some common side effects of the antidepressant Zoloft include nausea and excessive sweating – not this author’s first choice for a workout supplement! The important thing is to be aware of these side effects before you start a new medication so that you can report them to your doctor and decide if the benefits outweigh the risks.
You can save money by taking generic medications
If you need to be on prescription medications, ask your doctor if the drugs you’re taking have a generic equivalent. At times, generic alternatives are up to 85% cheaper than their name-brand counterparts, so it’s worth asking about.
You could be addicted to your medication
Prescription drug abuse and addiction are severe problems in the United States. One study found that among 12th graders, over 10% had used a prescription drug (not including pain relievers) for non-medical reasons at least once in their lifetimes. A second study found that one in four Americans had taken a prescription narcotic pain reliever for non-medical reasons within the past year. According to NCBI, painkillers like Oxycontin and Vicodin are the most commonly abused prescription drugs.
If you’re worried that you may be addicted to your medication, talk to your doctor. There are treatments available for prescription drug addiction, and it’s essential to get help if you need it.
Medication adherence is key to treatment success
If you are not taking your medications as prescribed, you may not be getting the full benefits of the treatment. Medication nonadherence is responsible for 125,000 deaths and 10% of hospitalizations in the United States each year. This number could be much higher if patients did not seek medical attention elsewhere.
Some medications can have dangerous interactions with others
If you are on multiple medications, it is essential to keep track of your medicines and any potential interactions. Some medications, such as blood thinners, can have dangerous multidrug interactions.
The bottom line is that it’s essential to be aware of your medications and understand what they’re for and how they work. If you want to learn more about the medications you’re taking, or need help getting treatment for prescription drug addiction, talk to your doctor. With awareness and proper treatment, there’s no reason why medication can’t be a positive force in your life.
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