The Internet has changed the way we live, work and shop. The growth of the Internet has made it possible to compare prices and buy products without ever leaving home. But when it comes to buying medicine online, it is important to be very careful. Some websites sell medicine that may not be safe to use and could put your health at risk.
Some websites that sell medicine can be not state-licensed pharmacies or aren't pharmacies at all; or may give a diagnosis that is not correct and sell medicine that is not right for you or your condition; or won't protect your personal information.
You have to talk with your doctor and have a physical exam before you get any new medicine for the first time. Use only medicine that has been prescribed by your doctor or another trusted professional.
Buying your medicine online can be easy. Just make sure you do it safely.
The benefits of medicines are the helpful effects you get when you use them, such as lowering blood pressure, curing infection or relieving pain. The risks of medicines are the chances that something unwanted or unexpected could happen to you when you use them. Risks could be less serious things, such as an upset stomach, or more serious things, such as liver damage.
Before using any medicine--as with many things that you do every day--you should think through the benefits and the risks in order to make the best choice for you.
For example, every time you get into a car, there are risks---the possibility that unwanted or unexpected things could happen. You could have an accident, causing costly damage to your car, or injury to yourself or a loved one. But there are also benefits to riding in a car: you can travel farther and faster than walking, bring home more groceries from the store, and travel in cold or wet weather in greater comfort.
The benefit and risk decision is sometimes difficult to make. The best choice depends on your particular situation. You must decide what risks you can and will accept in order to get the benefits you want.
For example, if facing a life-threatening illness, you might choose to accept more risk in the hope of getting the benefits of a cure or living a longer life. On the other hand, if you are facing a minor illness, you might decide that you want to take very little risk.
Important things is tell to your doctor about any allergies or sensitivities that you may have. Tell about anything that could affect your ability to take medicines, such as difficulty swallowing or remembering to take them.
Before use a medicine make sure you understand the directions; ask your doctor if you have questions or concerns. Always double check that you have the right medicine.
Ask your doctor always if there are interactions with any other medicines or dietary supplements (including vitamins or herbal supplements), beverages, or foods. Use the same pharmacy for all of your medicine needs, whenever possible.
You always have to pay attention to how you are feeling; note any changes. Write down the changes so that you can remember to tell your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care professional.
Drug interactions may make your drug less effective, cause unexpected side effects, or increase the action of a particular drug. Some drug interactions can even be harmful to you.
Early in a drug's development, companies conduct research to detect or predict potential interactions between drugs. Experts evaluate the drug-interaction studies as part of assessing a drug's safety.
Mixing two drugs together could make one of the drugs ineffective. The combination also could increase a drug's effect, and be harmful. The result might be mild symptoms such as nausea, stomach upset, or headache, or more serious symptoms such as a dramatic drop in blood pressure, irregular heart beat, or damage to the liver-the primary way that drugs pass through the human body.
This phase of research in test tubes, known as in vitro studies, allows researchers to perform drug-interaction studies in labs by testing a drug with other drugs that have the same route. This has made the research faster and more accurate. If two drugs go through the same enzyme, the presence of one drug can prevent the metabolism of the other. So this allows you to look at the worst-case scenarios and ask: 'What if we put this drug with that one, knowing that they have the same route?'"
Over the last several years, there has been a substantial increase in the number of drug-interaction studies the FDA sees in new drug applications. If drug interactions are significant enough, they can prevent a drug from being approved by the FDA. If the agency determines that known drug interactions can be managed and that a drug's benefits outweigh the risks for the intended population, a drug will be approved. Drug-interaction information then goes into the drug's labeling in the sections on "clinical pharmacology," "precautions," "warnings," "contraindications," and "dosage and administration."
In addition to having a good grasp of drugs and their effects, doctors take medication histories, and they consult with other members of their team to guide them in making decisions about drug interactions. They also use concise drug summaries and resources on pharmacological principles.
The large number of drugs on the market, combined with the common use of multiple medications, makes the risk for drug interactions significant. Consumers need to tell doctors what they're taking and ask questions, and health professionals could do a better job at trying to get the information they want.
But it is good way -- consumers remind doctors of everything they take when they are prescribed a new medication. So a patient might say: "Now remember, I'm also taking birth control pills. Is there a risk of interaction with this new medicine?"
Some antibiotics, such as rifampin, can lower the effectiveness of birth control pills. Sildenafil, the active ingredient in the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra, should not be taken with nitrates for heart treatment because of the potential for dangerously low blood pressure.