Oct 6, 2011
Navigating the supplement and medication maze can get confusing especially when you have multiple prescriptions. It is important to organize yourself with your medications and supplements to prevent unnecessary mishaps.
Dr. Lorraine J. Gudas and Dr. Mark S. Lachs offered these key tips on how to stay on track with your medications and steer clear of unsafe drug interactions at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center's 29th Annual Women's Health Symposium:
- Keep a list of your medications with you at all times.
- Make sure to include brand AND generic names as well as dosages and frequency.
- Include all vitamins and supplements on the list.
- Share the list with every health care provider you come in contact with, whether or not he or she suggests new medicines or medicine changes.
- Never mix medications in the same bottle even if traveling; taping an actual pill to your medication list can help you identify which medicine is which.
- When you hear about a new drug or a health tip, ask yourself: Is this based on a clinical trial, an observational study, or only personal endorsements?
- Don't make health decisions on the basis of observational studies. They are interesting to think about, but they don't prove anything.
- If you are thinking of buying a supplement or drug, ask your doctor's opinion. Don't take them on the basis of personal testimony.
Dr. Lorraine J. Gudas is chairman and Revlon Pharmaceutical Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology of the Department of Pharmacology at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Dr. Mark S. Lachs is director of geriatrics at NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System and author of "Treat Me, Not My Age."
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, located in New York City, is one of the leading academic medical centers in the world, comprising the teaching hospital NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medical College, the medical school of Cornell University. NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell provides state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine, and is committed to excellence in patient care, education, research and community service. Weill Cornell physician-scientists have been responsible for many medical advances — including the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer; the synthesis of penicillin; the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S.; the first clinical trial for gene therapy for Parkinson's disease; the first indication of bone marrow's critical role in tumor growth; and, most recently, the world's first successful use of deep brain stimulation to treat a minimally conscious brain-injured patient. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital also comprises NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division and NewYork-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area and is consistently ranked among the best academic medical institutions in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. Weill Cornell Medical College is the first U.S. medical college to offer a medical degree overseas and maintains a strong global presence in Austria, Brazil, Haiti, Tanzania, Turkey and Qatar. For more information, visit www.nyp.org and weill.cornell.edu.