Expert: Itís up to you to make sure medicines donít make you sick
Prescription medications help us deal with a lot of things. But, if you aren’t careful, they can do their share of damage as well.
We've all seen the drug commercials with the lengthy list of side effects. Comedians like Jeff Foxworthy even made jokes about them. But Jeff Kallina of The Methodist Hospital tells KTRH says there's good reason for those disclaimers.
“A lot of the warnings you hear on radio and television is pretty much a requirement to tell patients about what could potentially happen,” Kallina said.
Kallina says it’s very simple. The drugs make you better, but if you don't tell your doctor what you're already taking, they can make you sick. Some medications just don’t play well with each other. So, what’s his advice to you?
“It comes down to being an informed consumer. Asking your physician about interactions. There is also plenty of information available on medication reactions. It comes down to knowing what you are taking,” Kallina explained to KTRH.
Kallina said at the end of the day, you know what you are taking. Your doctor, especially if you have more than one doctor, doesn’t necessarily know the whole story.
Kallina said that, “It’s really up to the patient to make sure their doctor is aware of all the medications that they’re on. Maintain a good medication list.”
So which medicines are the ones Kallina is seeing people have reactions too?
“Lipitor is a very commonly prescribed medication. You see a lot of patients on that and similar class medications,” Kallina said.
Kallina said if you take drugs like Lipitor, you can wind up having problems that you may not even be aware are related to the drug and its side effects.
“That class of medication has some very common side effects that can be unpleasant. Not necessarily life threatening, but pretty unpleasant and may go years without being recognized,” Kallina explained.
Kallina also told KTRH that he sees a lot of people come in to his office with reactions to antibiotics because of the way they can interact with other medications.