Talk About Prescriptions as We Head into Cold Weather

October is “Talk About Prescriptions Month.” This annually observed tradition is a good reminder that you should discuss your medications with your primary care doctor at least once a year. And it’s crucial to review dosages. It was initially founded in 1985 by the National Council on Patient Information and Education.

Many of us see specialists for different concerns. That means we can pile up prescription drugs. They could interact with each other, or perhaps their dosages could be slightly off. It’s good to check-in and have the doctor who knows your complete health history up to date on all your medications. That way, your doctor can be sure you are taking the best drugs for your health needs.

It’s also important to talk about how you have been feeling. There may be side effects that have been building since the last time you spoke to your doctor. They might want to change your treatment plan. While that can be a little frightening, it’s right in the long run to be sure you are taking care of yourself. That’s especially true if you have added any drugs from a specialist since you last saw your primary care doctor. You can read up on your medications before speaking to your doctor to make sure you are prepared with any questions you might want to have answered.

If your doctor wants to prescribe you a new medication, ask specific questions. When should you take it? Should it be taken with a meal? What are the side effects? When will you see it working? Should you avoid any activities or foods? Does it come in a generic or cheaper version? Will this interact with any of your other medications? All of these questions can help you plan ahead.

You should also tell your doctor about any over the counter drugs that you take. They can interact with medications and should be taken into account when making plans. This is also an excellent time to review the supplements you are taking and how they can be a valuable part of your routine and healthy lifestyle. Additionally, as we go into the winter months, it’s important to refill your prescriptions and make sure you have enough when inclement weather hits. If you live in an area where snow or ice can make it challenging to get to the stores to get supplies or receive deliveries, it’s important to have what you need to see you through.  

Regularly speaking with your doctor is always important. But, you should make a point of having an in-depth discussion at least once a year. If you haven’t reviewed all of your medications recently, make time to do so. Your doctor can have a conversation with you, even during a pandemic. You might have a phone call instead of a face-to-face chat. But a phone call is much better than not touching base at all!
October 02, 2020

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