First, I am not a doctor and do not prescribe medication so do not take my blog here as medical advice. But the majority of clients are on some type of medication, whether it is for pain, depression, bipolar, insomnia, anxiety, or psychotic symptoms. Some are on more than one medication.
So here are some tips about medication use/misuse:
Take them as prescribed. Your doctor, psychiatrist, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant prescribed the specific medication and dosage for a reason. Frequency and dosage of a medication affect the body in certain ways, and your body may not react well if the instructions are not followed. Also, if you stray from the prescription instructions, at least be honest with your prescriber. Do not lie to make yourself sound better.
Do not use alcohol or illicit drugs when you are taking a medication. The interaction warnings are there for good reason. Maybe you luck out 8 times while mixing alcohol and a medication, but the 9th time your body system may have adjusted to account for the mixture and you may have a severe reaction. In extreme cases, death could occur. Also pay attention to certain herbs, nicotine, and caffeine levels. If you have questions about any of these, again ask your doctor. Even if you are on a medication and know you will have a night of drinking coming up, at least inform your prescriber so he/she can advise you accordingly. Do not lie to make yourself sound better here either.
If for some reason you don’t feel comfortable talking directly to your prescriber, ask your pharmacist about possible interactions or othe medication issues. You can do this anonymously most of the time, and they will be able to describe risks.
If you’ve been on a medication for some time and feel better, continue to take the medication as prescribed until you can meet with your doctor to discuss tapering down or getting off a medication. Do not stop “cold turkey” on your own. The effects of discontinuing a medication can range from annoying to unpleasant to awful.
I read an article and have talked to a few clients that agreed with this one: do not take your medication with grapefruit or grapefruit juice. I don’t know why, but there is a possibility of interaction, or the decrease of intended effects. If you like grapefruit, let about 30 minutes pass between taking the medication and the grapefruit/juice.
If you noticed, one of the most important things about taking medications is staying in contact with whoever prescribed the medication.