Have you ever thought about how the medications you take can interact with one another? Keeping an updated list of your prescribed medications with all of your doctors (pulmonologist, primary care physician, cardiologist, etc.) is an important part of receiving great medical care.
Some medications might not interact well with others, so it’s important that doctors in charge of your care are aware of what you are taking. For example, rescue inhalers such as albuterol are commonly used to treat symptoms in people with asthma. However, the effects of a rescue inhaler might be compromised when paired with beta blockers, which are used to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure.
If your physicians don’t know what medications you are taking, it is entirely possible that they could prescribe something that would do more harm than good.
Here are a few things you can do to protect yourself against bad medical interactions:
- Keep an updated list of all current medications, including multivitamins, dietary supplements, herbal supplements and over-the-counter medications.
- Notify your doctors of any changes in your treatment plan.
- Educate yourself about the medications that you are taking.
- If you have any concerns about a medication, talk to your physician, nurse or pharmacist.
- If you suspect that your medications aren’t interacting well with each other, contact your doctor and don’t make any dosage changes on your own.
Remember, you are your own best healthcare advocate. Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself!