Saving Lives with Drug Knowledge

Side effects from drugs can effect individuals in a variety of ways. Whether they are simple side effects like headaches, nausea or other common symptoms or more serious effects like the infamous risperdal gynecomastia, which causes spontaneous lactation in males, they each need to be taken as potentially serious side effects and should be reported to your doctor as soon as you are able to reach them. My mother didn’t take side effects very seriously whenever she was on Xanax and despite the fact the effects she suffered from were seemingly mild, in combination they were quite very nearly deadly! She was suffering from strokes and not even realizing they were happening to her until she had one right in the doctor’s office! I am thankful that she was wise enough to go see a doctor about the headaches but even now I am still concerned that she doesn’t do enough research into the drugs that she takes.

I think this is a general issue that exists amongst the population in the United States. Having dealt with handling my mother’s medications for her, the pharmacist rarely takes the time to go out of his or her’s way to actively seek out the patient in order to speak with them about the drug that they are taking. I think that it should be a law that they speak with the patient, requiring the patient to actually learn about the potential risks for each drug that they take and sign a form stating that they have in fact spoken with said pharmacist and understand the risks behind the drug that they will be taking. I believe that this will go a long way in helping patients identify potential side effects as they happen and hopefully save a few lives that may have otherwise been lost.