Wednesday, November 9, 2016


(1) CHECK YOUR EXPIRATION DATES Prescription meds have expiration dates on their original containers. Your pharmacist is required to put a "Discard by" date on the bottle, which is usually one year from the date the prescription is filled. The medicine may be good for longer than that. Certain medications should never be used beyond their expiration dates. Examples are: oral nitroglycerin(for chest pain), insulin, inhalers, Epi Pens, anti-convulsants, warfarin, digoxin and thyroid preparations. If your medicine is in the original packaging, check the expiration date, which is usually stamped on the bottom or side. If the date has passed, time to throw it away. If it is not in it's original packaging, ask your pharmacist about safely using the medication beyond the "Discard by" date. (2) KNOW THE DANGERS OF COMMON PAINKILLERS Some analgesics, including Aleve(naproxen) and Advil(ibuprofen) can trigger a stroke or heart attack. They can also raise blood pressure and increase bleeding risk. Studies show that acetaminophen can cause liver damage. This is especially true when mixed with alcohol. Follow orders exactly on the dosage and the frequency if your doctor has prescribed powerful opioid medicines, such as Percocet or OxyContin. It is a good idea to store this type of meds in a locked box to avoid theft and exposing children to these addictive drugs. (3) BEWARE OF RISKY HERBALS Herbal supplements can interact with certain prescriptions, resulting in dangerous side effects. Be especially cautious with ginkgo and ginseng can interact with blood-thinning medicines. They can increase the risk of bleeding. St. John's wort can interfere with high blood pressure medicines and statins. Kava has shown to cause liver damage. Bring your doctor or pharmacist a list of all your medicines and herbal and vitamin supplements, so they can be evaluated for side effects and potentially dangerous interactions. (4) DON'T OVERDOSE ON EVERYDAY VITAMINS Check daily limits: VITAMIN B More than 100 milligrams a day can cause temporary nerve damage. VITAMIN A More than 10,00 international units(IUs) may bring on vomiting, dizziness, blurry vision and headache. VITAMIN D More than 10,00 IUs a day may cause symptoms ranging from poor appetite to frequent urination and kidney problems. VITAMIN C One study found that regularly consuming high doses double men's risk for developing kidney stones. Always check the labels for the recommended dosage. (5) CUT BACK ON ALLERGY AND SLEEPING PILLS Studies have shown certain insomnia and allergy medications taken long-term are more likely to have problems with memory and decision-making. Benadryl and Nytol are two of those medications. There is also a higher risk of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. Talk to your doctor about alternatives for treating insomnia and seasonal allergies.

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