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Avoiding Medication Errors

More is not always better. One-third of Americans take more than the recommended dose of over-the-counter (OTC) medications because they assume it will help them feel better faster, according to a survey from the National Council on Patient Information and Education.

This is a bad idea. Taking more will not increase the drug’s effectiveness. It can also make you feel worse by causing side effects like nausea and diarrhea. Here are some other mistakes to avoid:

  • Taking a second dose too soon. Some drugs don’t take effect right away. Taking a second dose can make you drowsy.
  • Combining OTCs. Products that treat different symptoms, like headache and sore throat, often contain the same active ingredients. If you take both, you double the amount of drug in your system.
  • Not telling your doctor which OTCs you take on a regular basis. If your doctor doesn’t know, he may prescribe a drug that may have an adverse reaction.
  • Not reading all the directions. Easier to read new FDA-mandated Drug Facts labels are now on most OTCs.

There are so many drugs in the marketplace and we hear of so many injuries resulting from them, you can never be too careful when taking prescription or OTC medications. For more information on various drugs, visit the Food and Drug Administration’s web site at www.fda.gov.

If you suffer severe side-effects or are seriously injured as a result of taking any medication, you have legal rights. Please call us for more information.

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