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Be cautious when mixing medications

Most drug interactions are easy to anticipate, especially when your doctor has an up-to-date list of your current medications. Patients are required to fill out certain medical forms, answer health questions and list current medications they’re taking whenever they see a doctor. Depending on how often you visit the doctor or how many doctors you see, it’s possible you have a lot of experience with these practices.

These forms are an important part of your visit so be very thorough when filling them out. Before your appointment, make a list of any and all pills you take (prescribed and over-the-counter).

Should dietary supplements be included in that list?

A lot of people struggle with their weight and try various outlets to help them achieve weight loss. One weight loss channel you might explore is through the use of a dietary supplement. You’ve done your research, read the success stories and studied the possible side effects. You feel comfortable with the one you’ve chosen and have decided to give it a shot. Did it occur to you to ask your doctor about the supplement? Or at the very least, let them know you’ve started taking one?

Why do they need to know?

It’s important to inform your doctor anytime you decide to begin taking a supplement, whether it be a vitamin or for dietary purposes. Certain supplements could alter the potency of your prescribed medication which might increase or decrease the effects of it. Your doctor will be able to help alleviate these issues by advising you from the start, maybe they’ll have an alternative recommendation that won’t counteract with your prescribed medications.

Are you currently being treated by more than one physician?

As much as you’d like to think that all of your doctors are steadily communicating back-and-forth about the ins and outs of your case, it’s not realistic. Doctors see hundreds of patients and rely heavily on those forms mentioned earlier to stay up-to-date on the status of your health. Don’t assume your OBGYN or hematologist have the same information as your primary doctor and vice versa. Be accountable for your health by over communicating to all of your doctors, tell them everything you’re taking, what the doses are and how often.

What happens if I don’t disclose this information?

Not informing your doctors of any and all medications and supplements you’re currently on could lead to serious and possibly life-threatening consequences. If the potency of your medication is hugely affected by a supplement, extensive medical treatment might be necessary. Not only could this be detrimental to your health, it can also become extremely expensive.

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