October 21 is National Check Your Meds Day!

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By, Susan Heckler

Half of the American population regularly takes four or more prescription med- ications. Now is a good time to look at your medications, see if you still need them and discard the unnecessary. In many cases, a more effective alternative may have been released or a less expensive choice.
A whopping 52% of prescription drug takers said they had never asked their healthcare provider whether they could stop taking one or more of their medica- tions. Three-quarters of those who inquired said their provider could help them reduce the number of drugs they were taking.
To prepare for your review, put everything you take in a bag, including prescrip- tion and over-the-counter drugs, plus vitamins and dietary supplements. When possible, bring the original containers so your pharmacist can have complete in- formation, especially if you do not use the same pharmacy for everything.
Keeping an up-to-date list of medications, what they’re for, and the dosage will benefit both patients and their providers.
Questions to Ask Your Pharmacist
1. What is this medication for?
2. What are the possible side effects?
3. Will this medication interact dangerously with other prescriptions or Over the Counter, or any foods or drinks? 4. Is this similar to another drug I already take?
5. Do I still need to take this?
6. Is there a nondrug alternative that works just as well or better?
7. Is there a less expensive medication that works just as well or better generic versions?