Lives Saved from Catastrophic Outcomes by Life Alert in 2017:
Important Health Topics
an Active Member of Your
Health Care Team
When it comes to using medicine,
there is no such thing as completely safe. All medicines
have risks. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
approval of a drug means that the benefits outweigh the
known risks that are outlined on the drug's label.
Physicians, physician assistants,
nurses, pharmacists and YOU make up your health care team.
To reduce the risks related to using medicines and to get
the maximum benefit, you need to play an active role on
Before you purchase a prescription
or over-the-counter medicine, learn and understand as much
about it as you can, including:
generic and brand names
warnings and precautions
interactions--with food, dietary supplements,
side effects/adverse reactions
Drug information designed for
the consumer is available from a variety of sources, your
pharmacy, the manufacturer, the library, the bookstore,
and the Internet. If there is something you don't understand,
ask your health care team.
After you have exchanged all
the information, weigh all your options. At this point you
must decide if the benefits you hope to achieve from the
medicine outweigh its known risks. The final choice is yours.
Pay attention to how you feel
and notify your health care team of any problems.
If you have doubts that the
medicine is working effectively, don't stop taking it without
checking with the team. Some medications take longer to
show a benefit, and some need to be withdrawn gradually
to decrease undesirable effects. If you experience a side
effect, let your health care team know immediately. An adjustment
in the dosage or a change in medication may be needed.
Use this guide to gather the
information you need to know from your health care team.
What are the brand and
generic names of the medicine?
Can I use a generic
What is the medicine for
and what effect should I expect?
Does this drug replace
any other medicine I have been using?
How and when will I use
it, what amount will I use, and for how long?
What do I do if I
miss a dose?
Should I avoid any other
medicines, (prescription or over-the-counter), dietary
supplements, drinks, foods or activities while using
When should I notice a
difference or improvement?
When should I report
back to the team?
Will I need to have
any testing to monitor this drug's effects?
Can this medicine be used
safely with all my other medications and therapies?
Could there be
What are the possible side
What do I do if a
side effect occurs?
How and where do I store
Where and how can I get
written information about this medicine?
What other sources
of information can I use to make my decision
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