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Know Your Medications

Knowing your medications is a very important part of your health care. Keeping with you an up-to-date copy of your medications and the doses that you actually are taking (not necessarily what is written on the bottle) is smart - not just in case of an accident, but also for whenever you see your doctor or specialist.

Physicians recommend scheduling appointments for rechecks to monitor medication effects and disease progression. How often your doctor wants you to be seen depends on how well you are doing and the kinds of medications you are taking. Most diseases require routine follow-up.

People with hypertension should be seen four times a year, diabetes 2-4 times a year, and high cholesterol 2-4 times a year. Don't leave the doctor's office without asking when you should follow-up. Sometimes we, as doctors, think patients "should know," but we sometimes fail to convey when to follow-up.

Let your doctor know about all of the medications and supplements you are taking. Don't feel embarrassed or afraid your doctor will yell at you for taking supplements. He or she may explain why you should or shouldn't take an over the counter remedy. Be sure to find a doctor who understands you. It's important to feel at ease so that you can discuss any topic or issue.

Keeping track of your health is best done when you and your doctor work together. Also, when your pharmacist tells you that you need to see your doctor before more refills, he (or she) is not being difficult - he is just looking out for you.

Be sure to talk to your doctor or pharmacist whenever you have medication questions.

Health Education
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