MH900215352‘Knowledge is power’ (attributed to Francis Bacon) however it can also be life saving. Often by personal desire or medical prescription we put chemicals into out system believing they are safe and that all will be better. Naive? Yes!

Your body, your job to find out all you can about a drug you are taking or will take. Where can you learn about the medication? Yes a doctor should explain about what chemical(s) you are given BUT they do not explain beyond you need “this should help”. Yes perhaps it will help but at what cost, what should you watch for, side effects, interactions contraindications to name a few.

Yes the pharmacist asks if this is the ‘first time’ you are taking this medication and hands you a few printed pages (very small font) info with your ‘order’. You do read these?

Resources beyond your doctor and pharmacist are definitely needed – greater insight is needed beyond what is written for the general population.

A few recommendations:

– Consumer Reports now has a dedicated section on ‘drugs’ that includes ‘off label’ uses and safety issues. Learn about splitting pills (some you can not), about generics and plenty more.

– A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institute of Health is Medline Plus and Drug Information Portal

Drugs. com

WebMD