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The NSPA Blog

The Best Medication Websites

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Posted on May 14th, 2012 by Teri Dreher, under Prescription Drugs, Tips & Resources

A client of mine recently noticed some abnormal bleeding after being on a stable regimen of blood thinners for several years. Upon further investigation, we realized that the bleeding was due to a new antibiotic that had added to his low dose Coumadin (blood thinner) effectively doubling the blood thinner’s effect in his system. Since most people assume that antibiotics are safe, beneficial, benign drugs, my client had neglected to mention to a new doctor that he was on Coumadin, and a potentially life threatening interaction had occurred. If he had been in an auto accident shortly after starting the new antibiotic, he could easily have bled to death. Now he knows: there are hundreds of medications that interact with Coumadin and no doctor should prescribe ANYTHING without knowing my client is on Coumadin!

What  is the average person to do with the vast amounts of information provided at the pharmacy every time a new medication is added? READ IT! File it and seek wise counsel from your doctor or pharmacist for any concerns you may have. It’s a real challenge to know what is ‘real’ versus the hundreds of legal disclaimers surrounding every single side effect anyone has attributed to a drug. All too often errors occur because health care professionals are busy, they are human and they often miscommunicate.

It’s important for you to know your medicines well and talk to your doctor or pharmacist about any concerns you have about possible interactions. Two websites that I find helpful are www.Drugs.com and www.Rxlist.com. Use these websites as educational tools only and discuss information that you may find that concerns you with your doctor promptly. If any doctor acts offended when a patient questions him about medicines, it should serve as a red flag that you may want to get a second opinion. Responsible physicians want their patients to be safe and free from any medical error. Medication errors are the most common type of medical error and thousands die yearly because of them. They are not to be taken lightly by anyone.

Know your rights. Know your medicines. Protect yourself. You’re worth it!

With over 36 years of clinical experience in Critical Care nursing, home based health care and expertise as a cardiovascular nurse clinician, Teri is well acquainted with the complexities of the modern healthcare system. She has served as a nursing leader, mentor, educator, and consistent patient advocate throughout her career in some of the best hospitals across the country. Her passion to keep the patient at the center of the model of nursing care led her to incorporate NShore Patient Advocates, LLC in 2011, serving clients throughout the northern suburbs of Chicago.

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