The Battle of the Prescription Drugs

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We've all likely done it: picked up a prescription, taken it for a few days, then forgotten about it. However, that forgetfulness could be harmful to your health.

"They wouldn't give you a prescription if they didn't want you to finish it," Appletree Pharmacist Jim Killingsworth said. "I think antibiotics are probably the greatest problem because after a couple of days on antibiotics, they usually go ahead and start feeling better. If they stop taking it, it contributes to the bacteria becoming resistant to the antibody and they may have a relapse."

Pharmacists say it's crucial for patients to take their medicine everyday, on time, and at the same time. However, with high costs of meds, sometimes confusing directions and taking multiple drugs at one time, some people get confused.

"They need someone they trust, that they can call up and talk to if they have problems. If you don't have a good pharmacist get one," Killingsworth said. "In my opinion, it's the reason why we're here. Anybody can put pills in a bottle, but it's the human dialogue and caring."

In addition to following the doctors orders on all medications, pharmacists urge people to stay organized, especially the elderly. That could be as easy as a trip to the medicine cabinet.

"They tend to keep all of their medicine for years and years, and they need to be thrown away," Killingsworth said. "All of your medicine needs to be thrown away after a year."

Officials urge people to know what they're taking and how to take it, especially for those taking more than one medication.

"Some medications cause photosensitivity, which is a very dangerous thing," Killingsworth said, "and of course, the interaction with other medications they're taking is very important."