Senior Care - How to Provide Elderly Independence

3 Things To Ask Your Doctor About Your Medications

by Stephen Silva

While prescription medications undergo rigorous pharmaceutical market research to make sure that patients are satisfied with a manufacturer's drug and that the medications have excellent safety profiles, problems can still occur. To help you learn more about the drugs you are taking, talk to your doctor about potential side effects and adverse reactions. Here are three things to talk to your physician about concerning both your prescription and over-the-counter medications:

Bleeding Tendencies 

Certain medications have potent anticoagulant properties and may lead to abnormal bleeding in certain people. If you are at a high risk for heart attack, stroke or blood clot, your physician may have prescribed a prescription blood thinner.

While effective in reducing your risk for a cardiovascular event, these medications can heighten your risk for internal bleeding or intracranial hemorrhage if taken with common drugs such as aspirin and dietary supplements such as fish oil capsules or garlic tablets. If you take medications to help thin your blood, be sure to ask your doctor if taking supplements, aspirin, or over-the-counter pain relievers will raise your risk for dangerous bleeding episodes. 

Long-Term Consequences

While the most common prescription medications have favorable safety profiles, some can raise your risk for developing liver disease or renal failure. Although this risk often decreases when the medication is discontinued, the effects on your organs may be permanent.

Other common drugs can cause eye problems such as cataracts or macular degeneration, and while not very common, it is thought that people who take large doses of aspirin or who have taken it for a long time may be at risk for developing ocular problems.

If you notice blurred or double vision while taking aspirin, or if you have problems with your peripheral vision, let your doctor know. He or she may refer you to an ophthalmologist for further evaluation and treatment. 

Cardiovascular Adverse Reactions

Cardiovascular side effects such as an arrhythmia or chest pain can occur with many medications such as diuretics, antidepressants, decongestants, and beta blockers, which are drugs used in the treatment of high blood pressure, tachycardia, migraine headaches, and anxiety.

If your heart starts beating too fast, too slow, or irregularly, or if you develop chest pain after taking your medication, seek emergency medical attention. Also, avoid taking another dose until you have asked your physician if it is safe to do so. If your cardiovascular side effects persist even though your health care provider deemed them safe for you to take, ask him or her to recommend a different treatment that is less likely to affect your heart.

To learn more about the drugs you take, talk to your doctor about which types of pharmaceutical market research your medications were involved with. The more you know about your medications, the better aware you will be about potential dangers, side effects, or long-term health consequences. Contact a company, like Clarity Pharma Research, for more help.