When an advertisement for a medication comes on television, you may have noticed that the disclaimer at the end includes a long list of possibly alarming side effects. However, when you go to the doctor and a drug is recommended, these issues may seem less important compared to the ways the prescription may improve your health. We at The Leigh Law Firm understand that all medications have the potential for harm, and manufacturers, doctors and pharmacists have a responsibility to make sure you know what this includes.
FindLaw explains that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sets the standards for the tests required to ensure that medicines are safe, but that federal agency does not actually perform them. Instead, that duty belongs to the company who produces the drug. This is how safe dosages are determined and the list of side effects is accumulated.
If the manufacturer does its job right, your doctor receives all the important information about the medication. Once a health care provider has the educational materials, he or she then must review them thoroughly enough to be able to pass that on to you in terms that you understand.
Once you have made the informed decision to take the medication, the responsibility for the drug moves to the hands of the pharmacist. You should be offered counseling from the pharmacist on how to take the medication, how it may affect your ability to function, how it may react to other medications and other factors. For example, your pharmacist may tell you that you should take one pill twice daily with food, avoid alcohol and wait to drive or operate machinery until you know how the medicine will affect you. Any lapse in the process could put your health and well-being at risk.
More information about medication safety is available on our webpage.