Prescription medications are crucial when it comes to managing various health conditions. However, their safety should never be taken for granted.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regularly updates its list of recalled drugs. A lot of these include medications that were previously prescribed by healthcare professionals before the recalls. Thus comes the need to be aware of what’s safe and what’s not. For that, people must be extra cautious when taking prescription drugs. Even when prescribed by a professional, one must check to see if the drug is actually safe for use.
Having established that, let us explore a few ways to find out if your prescription medication is genuinely safe for use.
Consult Your Healthcare Provider
The first and most important step in determining the safety of your prescription medication is to have an open and honest conversation with your healthcare provider. This includes your primary care physician, specialist, or pharmacist. They can provide you with detailed information about the medication, potential side effects, drug interactions, and any necessary precautions.
Make sure to disclose your complete medical history, current medications, allergies, and any other relevant information. Doing so will allow them to make the most informed decision.
According to the Health Policy Institute, around 66 percent of American adults take prescription drugs. These prescription medications deal with a lot of health problems ranging from general physical discomfort to severe heart conditions. It’s impossible for you to know what each of those drugs does.
Thus comes the need to turn to your healthcare provider as your primary source of information on prescription drugs. After that, you can do your own research on those drugs to confirm that they’re safe for use.
Research the Medication
Take the time to conduct your own research on the prescribed medication. For that, check out the websites of reliable sources like the FDA or the World Health Organization (WHO). They can provide valuable insights into the medication’s safety profile, potential risks, and effectiveness.
You can also explore reputable medical databases, peer-reviewed journals, and medical websites. Doing so will help you find clinical studies and real-world experiences of patients with the same medication.
Check for FDA Approval and Warnings
Ensure that your prescription medication is approved by the FDA or its equivalent regulatory agency in your country. This ensures that the medication has undergone rigorous testing for safety and efficacy.
The FDA also issues warnings and recalls for certain medications if unexpected safety issues arise after approval. Regularly check the FDA’s website for updates on your medication or subscribe to their email alerts to stay informed.
Review Side Effects and Allergic Reactions
Familiarize yourself with the potential side effects of the prescribed medication. Most medications come with some side effects. However, it is crucial to differentiate between common, mild side effects and severe reactions that require immediate medical attention.
If you experience any unusual symptoms or allergic reactions like breathing problems or severe rash, stop taking the medication. Even popular prescription drugs can lead to unusual cases of side effects. Such was the case with Tepezza.
Tepezza is a prescription drug used for treating thyroid eye disease. However, studies suggest that the drug can lead to health problems like hearing loss, tinnitus, and other medical conditions. This led to the Tepezza lawsuit where people were entitled to compensation from the drug’s manufacturer for the problems they suffered because of using the drug.
According to TruLaw, those who received at least one round of Tepezza are eligible to file a Tepezza lawsuit. Victims can seek compensation for both economic and non-economic losses.
The Tepezza case is a great example of how prescription drugs can lead to different side effects. It also serves as a reason to always keep an eye out for prescription drugs that get into legal trouble and avoid using them.
Ask About Alternative Options
If you’re concerned regarding the safety of a drug, discuss alternative options with your healthcare provider. There may be other medications that can be used instead of the one you’re concerned about.
Make sure you address your concerns to the healthcare professional clearly. They might be able to debunk your theories regarding the drug if they think you’re mistaken. However, if you insist, they will still provide an alternative solution given that it exists.
Check for Drug Interactions
Ensure that the prescribed medication does not interact adversely with any other medications or supplements you are taking. Such interactions can lead to reduced effectiveness or even dangerous reactions. That’s why you must present the list of drugs you’re already taking to your healthcare provider. Only then can they help you avoid such unsafe interactions.
According to Fortune Business Insights, the global prescription drugs market size is expected to reach $1,562.15 billion in the next three years. As more such drugs enter the market, the safety concerns surrounding them will also grow. Thus comes the need for you to do your own research to find out which ones are safe for use and which ones aren’t.
Your healthcare provider will diligently prescribe medications based on their knowledge and experience. Even then, it’s essential for you to be proactive in ensuring your own safety, and the above-mentioned tips will help you do just that.