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Health Tips for September 11

Posted Sep 10 2009 10:15pm

Health Tip: Take Medications Safely

Many medications may seem harmless, but they can still cause harm if not taken correctly.

The University of Virginia Health System offers these suggestions to help prevent problems with medications:

  • Understand that even vitamins, herbs, supplements and over-the-counter medications can have adverse effects if taken incorrectly.
  • Always follow label instructions, paying particular attention to any warnings.
  • Learn how other medications and foods may interact with a particular medicine.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions of your doctor or pharmacist if your prescription changes or if you take a new medicine.
  • Learn about any potential side effects of medications you take, and always call your doctor if you have any problems.
  • Keep medications stored safely, and keep a record of all medications you take.
  • Make sure all of your doctors have a complete list of your medications.

Health Tip: Medications and Pregnancy

You may take certain over-the-counter supplements and medications without thinking twice. But when you're pregnant, even drugs that you can buy without a prescription can affect the developing fetus.

The American Academy of Family Physicians offers these safety guidelines about medications and pregnancy:

  • Don't take any medicine or herbal supplement without checking with your doctor.
  • Try not to take any medicine during your first trimester of pregnancy, when your baby is most likely to be affected.
  • If you are having pain, acetaminophen is usually safe for pregnant women to take for a short period. But you should first check with your doctor.
  • Don't take aspirin while you're pregnant.
  • Don't take an NSAID -- such as Advil, Motrin or Aleve -- while you're pregnant, particularly during your third trimester.
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