When a negative ‘surprise’ (or abnormal experience) occurs after taking medications or using a medical device – you can easily take action. Means are available and include bedsides the obvious of calling the pharmacy or medical subscriber – you can ‘go to’ the FDA! The FDA website (medwatch) is a plethora of information with plenty of research and you can also report your concern.
Examples of concern include:
- it occurs to you that there might be a problem with the quality of the drug, product or medical device
- often you were taking a drug that worked then you were switched to a different manufacturer (usually a generic company) by the pharmacy or your insurance plan only to have it not ‘work’
- experience a reaction you believe to be a side effect – new symptoms or worsening symptoms after taking a drug or using a medical product/device
- took a drug, or used a medical device incorrectly and it may have had a negative/unsafe effect for you.
Know there are many ways for YOU to address any of the above possible concerns:
-anyone can call the FDA at 1-800-332-1080 or go to their help website.
– a specific form (MEDWATCH Consumer Voluntary Reporting) can be filled in online or printed and mailed in. Please consider using this reporting mechanism.
If you are researching or want to know about a specific drug or device – your source should be ‘medwatch’ – a free ‘.gov’ site of the FDA. Here anyone can have access to info about such things as tobacco products, cosmetics, including veterinary products it is a great ‘go to’ site. Want to know about foods and especially current recalls and outbreaks this site is the way to find out. I was glad to see also covered was ‘dietary supplements’ – we all take so many of them.
This is a superb all-inclusive FREE info site!
Along with so much else – – do the rich get better medical care?
The affluent hire specialists for almost everything, they do not have the time to research investments, tax issues NOR health care. So why not hire someone to advise them on good medical care?
This is so pervasive that an article about just this appeared in NYT (J. Rago, September 22-23, 2012). Recognition that our health care system is far from perfect and that not all doctors and hospitals have excellent ‘report cards’ prompted a niche business. These folks are paid to research and seek out the top health care providers for you. They have created a referral database of ‘2,200 specialists in ‘160 fields’ .
So in the debate of cost containment vs. quality can one have both in health care matters? Listen to my podcast in iTunes on how to choose a physician- Medical Care Control & Doctors’ Quality.
DocHandal Speaks! Listen Up is chuck full of medical common sense-short to the point FREE podcasts
Trauma to our skin is all too common, cuts or wounds as we Docs call them need attention. This may simply mean cleaning, protecting but at other times repair with a needle and thread is required. Those that are deep or at angles need sutures-stitches! Sutures are the handiwork that result from ‘stitching’ our skin together. Skip the needed stitches and run the risk of infection &/or horrific scaring. Let the expert DocHandal give you the inside ‘skinny’ on this minor surgical procedure.
Benefits of routine screening for several conditions are being reevaluated, less is becoming the new “more’. Just like the PSA blood test Doc addresses in April 1st podcast, the Pap smear is no longer going to be recommended yearly. New guidelines state most women should wait until 21 and get tested every 3 years if it is normal. However women ages 30-65 who test negative for both HPV test & Pap smear can wait 5 years. Listen Up to Doc for more about the changes and how they will effect you, your mother, daughter.
Need to Know the Basics. Over a million Americans suffer from Parkinson’s Disease. The mean age is 55, it will start with a non intentional tremor in one of the extremities. They will develop a high degree of disability in 5-10 years even with expert care. The initial tremor indicates that 30% of dopamine stimulating neurons. Learn from DocHandal updates and true facts about this neurological disease.
Sure quicker and faster to take a drug prescribed for someone one else. A friend already has it and it is usually free, convenient and so easy! No searching for a doctor, waiting, paying a fee then a trip to the pharmacy more money out. So when you hear “Take this!” you do.
All to many of us are guilty of taking medications prescribed for someone else. After all it is a friend trying to help out when you are ill. Offering and giving you what they were prescribed for the same or similar problem does not consider your personal medical background (other conditions, allergies, interactions with other medication you may be taking).
Is “Take this’ an economic move or a deadly action? Listen Up!
Prostate Screening through PSA blood tests every 4 years seem to cut down on death from this cancer. Recent research shows overall there is no difference in # of deaths if it is not tested every annually. An important reality – complications from prostate cancer treatment are greater than deaths from it. The latest study with resulting new guidelines straight from DocHandal – easily stated worth the listen.
Yes! Not just for women! Just approved for men this vaccine covers prevention of the HPV sexually transmitted virus that can cause cancer & genital warts. It covers 4 types of the HPV virus that in men can cause mouth and throat cancer. Learn specific details along with the exact latest vaccine recommendations by men’s ages by Listening Up to DocHandal’s podcast.
Detected early, the 3rd most common cancer in the US, could decrease the numbers – 55,000 deaths a year! Learn the causes symptoms and what you can do to decrease your odds. Take a few minutes and Listen UP! to this weeks podcast on DocHandal Speaks iTunes channel.