Tips for any patient taking a prescription drug
1. Always follow any specific instructions that you have been given by
your doctor. Read the label on your bottle of pills and take notice of what it
2. When you're not using them drugs should be stored in a locked
cupboard out of reach of children in a room where the temperature will be fairly
stable. The bathroom is probably the worst room in the house for storing
medicines. Your bedroom - which probably has a more stable temperature - is much
3. Never take drugs which were prescribed for someone else.
Return all unused supplies of drugs to your chemist.
4. It is wise to
assume that all prescribed drugs can cause drowsiness. You shouldn't drive or
operate machinery after taking a drug until you are sure that you are safe.
5. Drugs do not mix well with alcohol. If you want to drink while taking
drugs ask your doctor whether or not it will be safe.
6. Do not take
non-prescribed medicines while taking prescribed drugs.
7. Do not stop
taking drugs suddenly if you have been advised to take a full course. Ring your
doctor for advice if you need to stop for any reason. Some drugs have to be
stopped gradually rather than abruptly.
8. Be on the look out for side
effects and remember that if you seem to develop new symptoms while taking a
prescription drug then the chances are high that the new symptoms were caused by
the treatment you are taking for your original symptoms.
9. Report any
side effects to your doctor - and ask him if he's going to report the side
effects to the authorities. The vast majority of doctors never bother to report
side effects - with the result that potentially hazardous drugs remain on the
market for far longer than they should.
10. If you need to see a doctor
while taking a drug make sure he knows what you are taking - particularly if he
intends to prescribe new treatment for you. Many drugs do not mix well together
and may, indeed, react together in a dangerous way.
Vernon Coleman 2003