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Medicine Savvy

Posted 05-27-2011 at 07:46 PM by kind2creatures

It's always smart to exercise caution when using any medications, whether prescription or natural. Many pharmaceuticals have a historical connection to herbal medicine, and are derived initially from herbal extracts.

Both prescription medicines and herbs affect the person taking them very individually. Some may experience allergic reactions, some may have side effects that exacerbate their already existing medical conditions. Some medicines should not be given to pregnant or breast-feeding women, as they may reach the infant or pass through the bloodstream into the breast milk.

We rely on our doctors not to prescribe medications that may interact with each other and cause us harmful, or potentially fatal results. Sometimes mistakes occur, and to avoid problems, it is to our advantage to research the drugs that are prescribed for us, and ask questions when we visit the pharmacy.

If we're taking prescription medications, it's of great importance to inform our doctors before we begin to take any new supplements, or make any changes in our diet. Some herbs affect the rate of absorption of prescription meds, or eliminate them from the body at a faster rate. Taking a pharmaceutical along with certain herbs that have similar properties, can actually cause dangerous overdosing.

Children along with the elderly have limited ability to process or absorb certain medications. Diabetics, those with cardiovascular or respiratory problems, cancer, kidney/liver ailments, and immune disorders are more likely to have side effects from particular drugs.

Even a simple healthy natural food like grapefruit or grapefruit juice can have serious interactions with statins, antihistamines, blood pressure drugs, psychiatric, pain, impotence and immune suppressant medications. Grapefruit may destroy certain medicines, prevent their absorption, and have the amount in the blood levels increase leading to toxic effects.

In a nutshell, we are responsible for everything that goes into our bodies. Being proactive by researching possible side effects of either pharmaceutical or natural medicines is in the best interest of not only ourselves, but our family members. We should always inform our doctors about the vitamins and supplements we're using, and feel free to ask the pharmacist as many questions as necessary about new prescriptions and any negative interactions that they may cause.

There's lots of new drugs being marketed everyday. Just the ads on TV are enough to make your head spin, and the side effects can make you cringe. Usually your doctor doesn't have the time to personally research all of them thoroughly. Let's help protect ourselves and do our homework, for long-term health and well-being. When it comes to our health, well-intentioned suggestions may come from both friends and strangers as a cure for a symptom, it's up to us to research thoroughly before taking action.

Let's all be medicine and supplement savvy!
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