Step 4 of 5: Take your medicine as prescribed & don't share

Tomorrow, as families throughout the country gather to share a meal of Thanksgiving, it is very appropriate that today’s blog be dedicated to Step 4 of the American Medicine Chest Challenge 5 Steps, which is to take your medicine as prescribed and don’t share your medicine with others.

There are three main reasons why sharing prescriptions could be problematic. Your prescription medication could cause a reaction to whatever drugs your friend or relative happens to be taking. The prescription you share can be incompatible with the other drugs, which could cause serious harm. Only a doctor can determine which drugs are compatible together.

                                                             

                                                             Image credit: fitsugar.com

Another issue that may arise is the dosage involved. A doctor can determine how much of a prescription drug is needed over a certain period of time in order to treat a patient. The doctor considers a variety of factors, not the least of which being medical history, physical health, and the nature of the disease. A doctor has many years of medical school and training to back up these prescription doses. You do not.

The third major problem with sharing prescription drugs is the other person’s drug allergies. How a person’s immune system will react to a new drug entering their system can be tough to predict, even for medical professionals. When prescribing a drug, doctors take great care in making sure that their patient will be safe. If you share a prescription medication, you run a great risk of an allergic reaction, which could cause serious harm.

According to the Journal of Women’s Health, more than a third of women polled took prescription from their friends.  When visiting treatment facilities throughout New Jersey, we have heard to often about how addictions began when a friend shared a prescription drug with them. Prescription drugs can be powerful and lifesaving when taken as prescribed by a doctor. However, they have the potential to cause great harm when abused. By taking your medicine as prescribed and not sharing, you are doing your part to end the prescription drug epidemic once and for all.

As you share a wonderful meal with your family and friends, please don’t share your prescription medications.

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