1. Health

Drugs, Supplements & Safety for Empowered Patients

Patients chew, swallow, inject and apply drugs, vitamins and herbal supplements every day to improve their health or fix their medical problems. What questions do you need to ask to make sure they are safe? What should you do when they don't fix what they should fix? What are the best ways to learn about the right drugs and supplements for you?
  1. Buying Drugs Online (4)
  2. Counterfeit Drugs (7)
  3. Drug Errors / Mistakes (2)
  4. Painkillers, Legal and Safety (14)
  5. Save Money on Drugs (13)

What Can We Learn from Celebrities Who Appear in Drug Ads and TV Commercials?
We see their faces on our TVs, in movies, online and in magazines, telling us to buy a drug or to ask our doctors to write us prescriptions for the drugs they supposedly take, too. But can we patients learn anything from celebrities who appear in drug advertisements or TV commercials?

The Right Prescription for Your Medical Problem
So many available prescription drugs have so many similar sounding names, it's easy to understand why dispensing mistakes can be made. Confirming your prescription with your doctor is a smart move for any empowered patient.

How to Identify Drugs - Pills, Tablets or Capsules
You may find a pill on the floor and not know what it is, or you may want to double check the tablets or capsules your pharmacist just gave you for your new prescription. Learn how to identify pills, tablets or capsules.

How to Avoid Drug Conflicts and Interactions
When we are given a new prescription drug, or if we decide to take an over-the-counter drug, we need to be aware that the new drug might conflict with another drug, an herbal supplement or even a food or beverage. Here are some things to know about avoiding drug conflicts and interactions.

How to Safely and Legally Buy Drugs from Online Pharmacies
Buying prescription drugs online - or any drugs online - can be easy, convenient and money-saving. Or it can be a nightmare, robbing you of your money and/or your health. Learn how to purchase your prescription drugs safely and legally from an online pharmacy.

How to Buy Drugs from Foreign Pharmacies
Sometimes the best drug pricing can be found in other countries, including Canadian pharmacies, Mexican pharmacies, even online drug stores in other countries. But Americans must tackle these challenges - is it legal and safe to purchase drugs from foreign pharmacies? And what does the FDA say about personal importation and re-importation? Here...

Using Drug Ads to Benefit Your Health
Prescription drug ads can be found on TV, in magazines and newspapers, on the radio and the Internet. Learn why pharma manufacturers aim their ads at patients and how to use those ads to your benefit.

What Are Drug Interactions and Conflicts?
There are several types of drug conflicts and interactions you might encounter, all of which can make you sick, or even kill you. Here are the types of interactions and conflicts, examples of each, and links to suggestions for prevention.

Why Do Prescription Drug Errors Occur?
If your doctor prescribes a drug for you, it's possible that by the time the written or verbal prescription makes it through the dispensing process, you will be given the wrong drug or the wrong dosage or the wrong instructions. Empowered patients understand the perils of drug errors.

Double Checking Your Doctor's Prescription
Written prescriptions are difficult to decipher because they often contain shorthand, acronyms and abbreviations. Here are some guidelines for understanding written prescriptions.

How Patients Can Protect Themselves from Harmful Newly Approved Drugs or Devices
The FDA approval process does not guarantee that the pharmaceutical drugs or medical devices it approves are safe and effective for the patients who will be treated using them. Learn what you can do to protect yourself from newly approved drugs or devices that are not safe.

Is It Possible Newly FDA Approved Drugs and Medical Devices Aren't Safe?
New pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices are approved regularly by the FDA. As patients, we assume that means they are safe and effective. But there are some reasons why those drugs may not turn out to be exactly what we hope. Here are some considerations to be aware of.

Why It's Important to Dispose of Drugs Safely and Properly
There are health and environment considerations for disposing of unwanted, unneeded or expired drugs. Here are the reasons we need to take specific steps to dispose of drugs.

How to Properly Dispose of Drugs
When it comes time to throw away unwanted or expired drugs, there are specific guidelines to follow to keep both the environment, and other people, safe and clean.

How to Properly Dispose of Medical Needles and Sharps
Millions of Americans use needles and other "sharps" every day. But when they aren't disposed of properly, they can be hazardous to those we love, and others who may get stuck with them. Here is some advice for safely disposing of sharps.

What are Sharps?
what medical devices are considered to be sharps?

Counterfeit Drugs -- From Organized Crime to Neighborhood Pharmacies
Counterfeit drugs have made their way into America's legal drug supply, making us sick, threatening our lives, or at the very least, preventing us from their promise of improving our health. Understanding how these bogus drugs get into the pharmacy, and how it is we may be given the fake drugs to take, helps us learn how to prevent being harmed by them.

Natural Herbal Weight Loss Drugs Supplements: Contaminated, Dangerous
The FDA has determined that at least 28 "natural" or "herbal" weight loss drugs and supplements are contaminated with dangerous ingredients which may lead to debilitation or death. Find the most recent list of dangerous weight loss drugs and learn why they may harm you.

Abbreviations and Acronyms Used on Written Prescriptions
The abbreviations and acronyms doctors use when they write prescriptions can be confusing, and make it more difficult for us to understand what has been prescribed. This list of those abbreviations will help you decipher the code and help you better understand your doctor's instructions.

How and Why to Review Your Drugs and Regimen
Over time, we may begin taking supplements, or may be prescribed drugs that help us in the short term, but should be adjusted or eliminated over time. Here's when and how to review your entire drug regimen on a regular basis to be sure you're taking only what you need, and not spending health or money on those you don't.

What Is a Compounding Pharmacy?
Most pharmacies in the United States are not considered compounding pharmacies. Why not - and what's the difference between your corner pharmacy and a compounding pharmacy?

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