Marla Ahlgrimm, a retired pharmacist and women’s health advocate, explains that women should pay close attention to the medications their healthcare provider prescribes.
Modern medicine saves lives. Of that there is no doubt. However, according to Marla Ahlgrimm, medicines that are used improperly can kill. Information is the key in preventing tragedy. Before taking any new medicine, Ahlgrimm insists that women should ask their doctor or pharmacist lots of questions. These questions should include queries regarding the full name of the medication, its active ingredients, dosage amounts and timing, and potential side effects.
Marla Ahlgrimm explains that keeping a medicine list can also keep a woman safe. This list, which should include all current medications, including OTC and supplements, should be presented to both physician and pharmacist to ensure there are no potential interactions.
A doctor or other qualified healthcare provider will only prescribe medications that are needed. These medicines should be taken as prescribed. Marla Ahlgrimm explains that men and women alike should completely follow the directions provided by the pharmacist and only take the suggested dose. This is one case where more is not better and overconsumption will not shorten the duration of the illness the medication was prescribed to heal. Medicines should never be shared or taken after their expiration date.
Not all medicines can be disposed of in the same way, says Marla Ahlgrimm. Some are safe to flush down the toilet while others can contaminate local water supplies. Other medications may crushed and mixed with kitty litter or coffee grounds, sealed in plastic, and tossed out with the garbage. Others still, especially highly-addictive opioids, should be taken back to the pharmacy or surrendered during a community drug take-back program. These are often held by the police station or local hospital.