Mind Your Medications: non-prescription doesn't equal safe

You’ve heard it before: Talk to your health care provider about all the prescription and non-prescription medicines and supplements you take.

But over-the-counter (OTC) medications and supplements are safe, aren’t they? The doctor told you to take a certain medication. So why should you mention everything you take?

While medications are intended to make us feel better, most medicines, even OTC medications, can have side effects, such as dizziness or drowsiness. The more medicines you take, the more likely you will have to deal with unwanted side effects. These can not only cause you to fall, but they can also impact other aspects of your life.

Some combinations of medications with OTC treatments can affect how the food you eat is absorbed in your body. Some combinations can cause fatigue, weight gain and headache. Your doctor may prescribe a medication to treat a troublesome symptom that is actually a side effect of a medication you are already taking.

Beyond preventing falls, talking to your doctor regularly about the medications you take has other benefits:

  • You could find out you don't need some of the OTC medications you are taking
  • You could learn a simpler schedule to take your medications; and
  • You could save money as you stop taking some medications

Remember: non-prescription medicines should be treated with the same care and respect as prescription medications.

Categories: Medicine Meds Medication Prescription Rx Over the counter OTC side-effects dizzy falls falls risk