Simple Solutions: Asking your pharmacist the right questions

High blood pressure, low blood pressure, diabetes, infections and viruses; there's an endless list of reasons people are prescribed medication.

Last year, there were nearly six billion prescriptions filled, and with that comes a lot of risk - harmful interactions between medicine and food and beverages or changes in mood.

So how do you minimize your risk? Ask your pharmacists the right questions.

One important question you should ask: what is the medicine for? Pain relief? Reducing fever or inflammation?

Also, ask how to take the medicine. Time of day, with food, without food, can it be crushed or split?

Double-check the dosage. Over 40 percent of mistakes that result in death are due to taking the wrong dose.

Also, be aware of the side effects and record them.

It's also important to know where to store the medication.

Most people keep their medications in the absolute worst place -- the bathroom. Moisture can easily degrade medications.

Just remember that if you don't know, ask.
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