February 21, 2017

Talk to Your Doctor and Pharmacist

I firmly believe in this. I see too many people avoiding this and causing themselves health problems. Yes, there is a growing epidemic in this country and it is on two fronts. Many people are not talking to their doctors. And, at the same time, doctors are not talking to their patients. These are not what I am referring to, but both are part of the epidemic.

Medical situations arise every day and people think they can handle them without talking to their doctor. A brief article the other day made an excellent point about the need to talk to your doctor. Some people will disagree with what I am going to say, but they are the ones that will end up in the emergency room and the hospital or even the local mortuary. Yes, it is that serious.

When people come down with the common cold or also develop problems with mucus plugging their nose, they head for the nearest store or pharmacy to get a decongestant. If you are healthy and have no known medical problems, chances are that no damage will be done.

But if you have any of the following health conditions, doing this is not advisable. These health conditions are heart problems or high blood pressure, glaucoma, thyroid problems, diabetes, or prostrate problems. With these conditions, it is wise to consult with your doctor. Most over-the-counter products like decongestants are clearly labeled with a warning for high blood pressure but little else. Some do say they will raise blood glucose levels.

Most people will demand privacy and other grounds for avoiding what I am proposing, but after seeing a friend in the hospital recently for just the above situation, I think for the sake of safety, all over-the-counter drugs that require a warning, should only be available through a pharmacy and be kept behind the counter requiring a prescription if they have health problems listed above.

This may be an unnecessary burden on doctors and pharmacists, but in this day with computers, this should be workable. Some patients will go to extreme measures to avoid this happening and shop pharmacies to avoid the need for a prescription. They will do anything to step around the system. The dangers of doing this are there and people still want to ignore them.

This is the reason that I only have two pharmacies and all my doctors know which ones to deal with. If I am looking for an over-the-counter medicine, I talk with the pharmacist after I have read the label. Often the pharmacist suggests another product that does not have the dangers. Occasionally I am told to not take any and go to the doctor. I respect the pharmacist for this and this is one reason for not wanting many pharmacists to deal with for my prescriptions.

I find that these relationships work for my better health care and as a result, the doctors are more confident in what I do. Plus the pharmacist is more willing to answer questions and even supplies me with additional information when it is felt that it will be of value.

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