Tell your doctors about all the medecines you are Take more — or less — than the prescribed amount taking and about any allergies or sensitivity you Stop taking drug suddenly without checking with Be sure you understand all instructions before your doctor — even if you feel better.
starting to use a drug — including when to take it, Mix alcohol and medication unless your doctor says with what, how long to continue, what to do if it’s ok. Although not all drugs react adversely with Make sure you take medecines when you’re sup- Take drugs prescribed for someone else, or give posed to — which for people taking several drugs might mean having a system for keeping track.
Transfer a drug from its original bottle to another.
Call your doctor if you notice any new symptoms Keep drugs in airtight containers and store themproperly.
Keep a permanent record of all drugs and vaccines THE FLORIDA ALCOHOL & DRUG ABUSE ASSOCIATION of the population, they consume nearly one half of the prescription drugs sold each year. This problem may become increasingly prevalent as older adults are expected to comprise 20 per- of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) cent of the U.S. population by 2030.
drugs are produced each year in the United States. In 2001, 3.2 percent of youth ages 12 to 17 were current abusers of prescription drugs. This was a slight increase from 2000.
are stimulants used primarily to delay the on- As the doctor’s partner, you should tell the doctor By the end of the visit, you should get instructions used psychotherapeutics at least once in the set of mental and physical fatigue and to treat all he or she needs to know in order to diagnose your prob- from the doctor for properly taking any medecines pre- year was larger, from 7.1 percent to 7.9 per- problems such as hyperactivity in children. Stu- lem and prescribe the proper medecines. Think about the scribed. Before leaving the office, you should know the cent. Among college-aged adults, misuse of office visit beforehand — and while you do, prepare a writ- answers to these questions for each drug prescribed for dents studying long hours for exams, athletes ten list of things to tell the doctor and questions you want who feel the drugs will improve their perfor- from 9.3 percent in 2000 to 12.1 percent in to ask. If you have trouble writing, ask a friend or relative mance, and workers who want to stay awake on the job often use stimulants. These drug When and how often should I take it? Under what compounds are often found in diet pills, which, When you go to the doctor, bring all the medicines circumstances — before, with, after, or between account for most of these increases. In 1993, you are using, or — if it is easier — bring a written list of all the Drug Enforcement Administration esti- of them. Include the drugs you take that do not require a nervosa. Anorexia nervosa is a pathological loss Will there be any side effects? Should I report them? mated prescription drugs that were sold il- prescription, such as asprin or laxatives. Every doctor you of appetite thought to be psychological in ori- legally cost abuser $25 billion compared to see needs to know about all your medecines so he or she gin that is manifested in extreme dieting and Materials were developed from: Using Your can avoid duplicating them or prescribing medecines that $31 billion spent that year on cocaine.
excessive thinness. Caffeine is also found in Medecines Wisely: A Guide for the Elderly, Na- will cause a bad reaction when taken together with your tional Institute on Drug Abuse, Division of Re- many beverages, pain medications and allergy medecines. One drug might harmfully reduce or increase of 12, approximately 9% of the U.S. popula- and cold remedies. Unusually high doses or the effects of another; or the combination of two drugs may tion, reported having used one or more psy- excessive use of stimulants over long periods produce a new and dangerous reaction.
Branch, by the Center for Human Services, 5530 choactive drugs (sedatives, stimulants and of time can lead to anxiety, hallucinations, se- Wisconsin Avenue, Chevy Chase, Maryland 20015, You should also bring a written list of your allergies vere depression or physical and psychological and the medecines you have had a negative reaction to.
non-medical purposes at some time in their dependence. From strong stimulants, such as Publication No. (ADM) 90-705 Reprinted 1988, 1990 lives according to the 1998 National House- cocaine and nicotine found in cigarettes, to caf- hold Survey on Drug Abuse. Stimulants and feine in coffee and cola drinks, stimulants are analgesics were the most widely used drug of abuse within this category. Psychoactive drugs are abused because they directly af- analgesics, available in both prescription and fect the brain and central nervous system Funds for this document are provided by the Substance Abuse Program Office, Florida Department of Children and JUST THE F (CNS), producing desired effects.
Aspirin. The most common analgesic
alike, but older adults are at the greatest risk for misuse of medications, because they of- ten use many different types of medications to treat one or more illnesses. Though this FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL THE FLORIDA ALCOHOL & DRUG ABUSE ASSOCIATION RESOURCE CENTER FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL THE FLORIDA ALCOHOL & DRUG ABUSE ASSOCIATION RESOURCE CENTER 1030 EAST LAFAYETTE STREET, SUITE 100, TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA 32301 TEL: (850) 878-2196 • WWW.FADAA.ORG 1030 EAST LAFAYETTE STREET, SUITE 100, TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA 32301 TEL: (850) 878-2196 • WWW.FADAA.ORG develop if aspirin is given to children with the flu Sedative-Hypnotics and Tranquilizers. Benzodi-
content in some OTC preparations may be as high or chicken pox. This disease is characterized by azepines are the most widely prescribed tranquil- as 40 percent. These medications should not be Both prescription and OTC medications can be vomiting, swelling of the brain and liver and izers and sleep-inducing medications. They are taken beyond the recommended number of days very helpful in the treatment of health problems and difficulty with mental functioning, and can often also the most abused by the public. Drugs used to or in greater doses than indicated on the label or injuries. The following are some points to remember lead to death. People with liver damage should treat anxiety and tension are Valium, Xanax, about taking medication properly and preventing medi- Ativan and Tranxene. Drugs used for sleeping Taking these medications for prolonged periods cation misuse, harmful reactions or drug interactions: Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is used to treat aches,
include Dalmane, Resotril and Halcion. Possible of time may cover up other illnesses or health Ask your doctor or read the OTC label informa- pains and fevers and is generally free from side side effects include drowsiness, light-headedness problems. A doctor should be notified in case of tion about the effects and/or side effects of drugs effects. Large doses or overuse of this drug may and poor coordination. When the elderly use cause rashes, fevers or changes in blood composi- sleep-inducing benzodiazepines, the possibility of Laxatives are among the most widely misused Take medications according to recommended tion. People with kidney or liver problems should morning-after hangover syndrome is great.
and abused OTC medications. This is particularly consult a doctor before using acetaminophen.
Overuse of these drugs can lead to sleeplessness,respiratory difficulties, coma and even death.
true among older adults and is due to misunder- Notify your doctor of any reactions to medications Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin) is used to
standing of normal bowel function. Use of relieve pain associated with arthritis, menstrual Barbiturates are less commonly prescribed
laxatives should be restricted to short-term use Dispose of any leftover prescription medications cramping and discomfort, fever and muscle medications used to treat anxiety and insomnia. If for constipation, since chronic use leads to following the treatment of your illness or injury strains. Possible side effects might include upset improperly used, these drugs can cause depres- dependency. This is primarily true of saline-type stomach, dizziness, drowsiness, headache or sion or experience respiratory difficulties. Some (Magnesium Citrate, Fleet Enema), stimulant- Inform your doctor of all medications you are ringing in the ears. Overuse of this drug may lead examples are phenobarbital, Seconal and Nemb- type (Ex-lax, Dulcolax), lubricants (Mineral Oil) currently taking, the dosages, and any allergies to confusion, tingling in hands and feet, and utal. Non-barbiturates include Doriden, Placidyl and stool softeners (Colace). The last two types are useful for those who should not strain during Do not use medications (prescription or OTC) to Narcotic Analgesics. These are prescription
Cough and Cold Preparations. Colds are caused
defecation, such as heart patients, but may treat unrelated illnesses, pains, or injuries by viruses and typically last 7 to 10 days. Most rapidly cause a laxative-dependant condition.
Discuss any special precautions you may need to Demerol, Dilaudid, Darvocet, Percodan and cold preparations are designed to treat specific Laxative Abuse Syndrome (LAS) may lead to take with use of medications. Ask if there are any Percocet. They are widely used non-medically for cold symptoms and provide temporary relief fluid and electrolyte imbalances as well as problems with combining them with certain their psychoactive effects and may be the most from discomfort. These medicines often contain vitamin and mineral deficiencies. The following foods, alcohol, or other prescription or OTC abused prescription medications. They should pain relievers, decongestants, antihistamines and guidelines when using laxatives are useful and never be used in combination with alcohol or cough suppressants. Caution should be used may prevent their abuse: proper dietary fiber If you are pregnant, always consult your doctor sedatives. Excessive use can cause respiratory when taking them, as they often cause drowsiness intake, adequate fluid intake and proper exercise.
before taking any type of prescription or OTC arrest, shock, cardiac arrest, hallucinations, lack of or excitability. Most widely used cold remedies Laxative users should remember that these drugs coordination and rapid heartbeat. Analgesic users are only a temporary measure and should restrict should be aware of any allergies they may have to Antihistamines and Decongestants. These medica- intake to a one week period unless specifically these drugs, and use them according to label tions are typically used to relieve itchy, watery advised otherwise by their physician.
If you are unsure of the effects of a medication, eyes and to reduce congestion due to allergies, ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain them Antidepressants. These are prescription medica-
colds and flu. They can also cause excitability or Misuse of prescription and OTC drugs can often Written in part by Marvin A. Friedman, PD, Rph, CAAP tions used to treat depression, a disease affecting drowsiness. Activities such as driving that require lead to psychological and physical dependence. People approximately 10% of the US population. Some of mental alertness should be avoided when taking may use increased amounts to insure a sense of well- the original drugs of this group were Nardil, these drugs. OTC preparations containing antihis- being, to treat unrelated illnesses or health problems or Tofranil and Elavil. Although not technically an tamines are often taken in excessive quantities to for non-medical purposes. Many medications contain Prescription Drug Abuse II: What Can Be Done.
antidepressant, lithium, which is used to treat produce a high such as that experienced when alcohol and narcotics such as codeine, which can be Center for Substance Abuse Prevention of the Substance manic depression, is often included in this group.
addictive and life-threatening. Use of alcohol, a depres- Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2003.
The side effects of prolonged and excessive use of Antitussives and Expectorants. Antitussives are sant, with some prescription and OTC drugs may in- these drugs are excessive urination or thirst, cough suppressants used to treat painful, persis- hibit or increase the drug s effectiveness as well as cause diarrhea, vomiting, drowsiness, dizziness or tent coughs. Expectorants are used to help clear depression, drowsiness, confusion, and loss of coordi- muscle weakness. Some newer antidepressants mucous from the respiratory system. Both medi- nation. Combining OTC drugs with some prescription that show great promise in treating this disease drugs can cause the same, or more harmful, types of are Wellbutrin, Prozac, Zoloft, Effexor, and contain narcotics, such as codeine, to relieve pain Serzone. The incidence of side effects with these and induce sleep. Some may be addictive. Young seem to be less than with the previously used people may abuse these medications for the effects derived from alcohol use, as the alcohol FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL THE FLORIDA ALCOHOL & DRUG ABUSE ASSOCIATION RESOURCE CENTER FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL THE FLORIDA ALCOHOL & DRUG ABUSE ASSOCIATION RESOURCE CENTER 1030 EAST LAFAYETTE STREET, SUITE 100, TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA 32301 TEL: (850) 878-2196 • WWW.FADAA.ORG 1030 EAST LAFAYETTE STREET, SUITE 100, TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA 32301 TEL: (850) 878-2196 • WWW.FADAA.ORG

Source: http://fadaa.org/resource_center/just_the_facts/PRESCRI.PDF

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