This week is National Drug Facts Week (January 26th-February 1st) and the American Recall Center (a website that provides drug and medical device recall information) helped inspire me to ‘shatter the myths about pharmaceuticals’. As you all know, this perfectly fits my mission of ‘helping to reveal the facts’.
Let me preface this with saying that I am in no way against pharmaceuticals, when used properly and in the right dosage. However, the danger comes when pharmaceuticals are used incorrectly, and a major cause of this is because many people are not given the correct facts or have not discussed their medication with their doctor or pharmacist.
Why Communication is Vital
I took a fascinating class last summer (as per the requirements to get my master’s degree) called Health Communication. It really opened my eyes to the importance of communication between a patient and their caregiver. You would be surprised at the amount of people who do not speak up or ask questions despite being confused or not understanding what their doctor has said. Furthermore, many patients may choose not to ask questions or feel like they have a choice regarding the treatment that has been prescribed to them. This is in spite of the fact that doctors cannot treat patients without their consent nor are patients required to follow their advice if they feel at all uneasy or worried.
Take the example of the drug Xarelto, which is a blood thinner that can have some severe side effects. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has actually challenged Johnson & Johnson over their claims and advertising of Xarelto as they found that they did not provide sufficient warning to consumers regarding the drug’s side effects.
Don’t Be Scared to ASK
This is such a relevant point. Your doctor, pharmacist and any health professional are there to help you and you should never feel scared or nervous to ask them to clarify or explain anything you do not understand, or want more information about. You could do a lot of harm to yourself from failing to ask questions or to make your voice heard. Just take a look at these interesting statistics.
Some pretty crazy statistics, huh?
6 Questions To Ask Your Doctor/Pharmacist
Education is paramount to keeping yourself safe and to reaping the benefits from your visit to your doctor or pharmacist. Educate yourself on what drugs and medical devices have been recalled, and make sure to always ask your doctor or pharmacist anything you are unclear on. Here are 6 questions to ask your doctor/pharmacist:
- How will this product help me and relieve my symptoms?
- Are there any adverse side effects of this product that could affect me?
- When was this product released?
- Has this product received a positive reception or have you heard anything negative regarding it?
- How many (pills, capsules, etc) do I take, and how many time a day do I take this product?
- What do I do if I forget to take the recommended dosage?
I highly recommend checking out the American Recall Center’s website (www.recallcenter.com) as they have so much useful information regarding pharmaceuticals (not sponsored, I just admire their values and mission).
Featured image from http://www.centerforprevention.org