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Prescription drugs are prescription for a reason. If they did not have any side effects or harmful effects, you could purchase them over the counter. Because of this, you need to make sure you get all the information from the experts, your doctor and/or pharmacist. How, when and how much of the drug you take, can drastically affect how well it works. Make sure you follow the directions and inform your health professional about any other medications you are on. Here are some tips to make sure your prescription works like it is supposed to:

Inform Your Doctor
If you do not let your doctor know what medications you are already taking, it could be very harmful. Many drugs do not react well together, some could even be deadly if taken together. Make sure you think of everything. Even things like birth control, sleeping pills, aspirin, vitamins, and laxatives can react with other medications.

You also need to alert your doctor to any allergic reactions. Many people do not react well to certain types of medications. Usually there are alternatives, but your doctor needs to be aware he or she might need to use them.

Your doctor also MUST be aware if you are pregnant. Many prescription drugs are harmful to the fetus. You certainly do not want to jeopardize the health of your baby. Keep in mind, this extends into breast feeding as well; whatever you consume goes to your child. If there is any doubt, let your doctor run a test before prescribing the medication.

Follow the Directions
The pharmacist will give you a list of directions when he or she gives you the prescription. However, it is good to go ahead and ask. Many times, when you sit down to read it, it seems typical, or routine. But, somewhere at the bottom, might be buried a life or death alert. The pharmacist will be able to tell you the crucial things, in a short amount of time. You should also read the label. Some medications will keep you awake if taken at night. Others could make you sick if they are not taken with food. You need to know this information before you take anything.

Storing the Medication
The most important thing you can do is keep the medication in its original bottle. Often times people think they will remember their dosage, refills, or type of medication and switch it to another bottle. This is very dangerous. If you forget, you could be taking the wrong thing.

Most drugs are labeled, "keep in cool, dry, place." This is very common, and needed. Most people do not take this seriously enough. If the medication deteriorates, it might not work as it was intended. So, remember, a cool, dry place is not likely the bathroom, a car, or any room in the sunlight.