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Before You Take That Pill

Before You Take That Pill

Any negative or unwanted response to a medication is called a side effect. Side effects can range from mild – nausea, drowsiness or a stuffy nose – to severe, including heart attacks or organ damage.

“People will respond to medications differently,” said Megan Mills, RPH, PharmD, pharmacy manager at Archbold Pintetree Pharmacy. “But all drugs cause some form of side effect, even if it’s mild. Most of the time, side effects are manageable.”

In some cases, however, side effects can be serious and potentially life-threatening. They may increase your risk of dangerous conditions, such as blood clots or heart disease, or they may negatively interact with medications you already take.

“That’s why relationships with your provider and pharmacist are crucial,” Mills said. “It allows your healthcare providers to know the medications you already take, your health concerns and your medical history.”

Working Together

One of the benefits Mills has at Archbold Pinetree Pharmacy is her ability to talk directly with Archbold providers about patient prescriptions.

“The great thing about Archbold is we’re all connected,” she said. “I have a relationship with every provider here, and if something in a patient’s record looks off, I can contact the provider directly and ask for clarification.”

Mills said that this collaboration between patients, providers and pharmacists is important in preventing potentially dangerous side effects.

“Sometimes, there’s an alternative medication that comes with fewer side effects, or we can recommend strategies to help reduce side effects,” she said. “Talking to your pharmacist and provider is key to making sure your health is in the best hands.”

Start a Conversation

When your provider recommends a new medication, here are some questions you can ask:

  • Does this medication interact with any medications I currently take?
  • How and when should I take this medication?
  • What are some common side effects of this medication?
  • Are there any side effects of this medication that could be potentially dangerous?
  • If I start experiencing negative side effects, what should I do?

If you experience negative side effects after taking a prescription, call your provider or pharmacist. Do NOT quit taking medication without your provider’s OK.

To reach the Archbold Pinetree Pharmacy, call 229.516.4561.