Posts Tagged ‘OTC’

Exploring Grandma’s purse

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Grandma's purseMy purse, or pocketbook, holds everything I need, from a hairbrush to my driver’s license, cash, credit cards, a few random crayons and scrap paper, and the medications I need to take. Whereas I thought I was quite clever to carry the crayons and paper, it didn’t occur to me that by doing so I was enticing my grandchild to delve into my bag. Moms, this applies to you, too.

Curiosity is a good thing. It helps us venture forth, stretch our limits, learn new things. But in this case, it might have been deadly. I get headaches and take some meds that could be very dangerous to babies if swallowed like the candy they look like. Do you? Child-proof caps seem more like they are adult-proof to me. Fortunately, our little tike grabbed the bottle in my bag and shook it like a rattle rather than tried to open it. I saw this in less than 30 seconds and substituted a toy for the pills, but it certainly got my attention.

Suggestion: Go through your purse and make sure you know exactly what’s in there. Do you carry a small Swiss Army knife, a sharp nail file, keys you’d rather not get lost? Remove any dangerous items and meds (including over-the-counter pain relievers), but if you need to keep some, try this. Hang your purse on the same hanger as your coat. Carry a separate bag with crayons, paper, finger food, toys, a book or two… that your children or grandchildren can be safe with and delight in exploring.

9 questions to ask your provider before you get pregnant

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

There are things you can do, before you get pregnant, to help give your baby a better chance of a healthy and full-term birth. See your health care provider before pregnancy and ask about the following topics.

What do I need to know about…

1. Diabetes, high blood pressure, infections or other health problems?
2. Medicines or home remedies?
3. Taking a multivitamin pill with folic acid in it each day? 
4. Getting to a healthy weight before pregnancy?
5. Smoking, drinking alcohol and taking illegal drugs?
6. Unsafe chemicals or other things I should stay away from at home or at work?
7. Taking care of myself and lowering my stress
8. How long to wait between pregnancies?
9. My family history, including premature birth?

Antibiotics – when to use and when to avoid them

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

October 6-10 is the first Get Smart About Antibiotics Week. It is designed to help all of us learn when it is appropriate and safe to take an antibiotic or give one to our children.

Often parents see a child with a cold (sore throat, sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, flu symptoms) and they want the doctor to prescribe an antibiotic, “the magic medicine,” to make it go away.  There usually is no such medicine, but sometimes a doctor will comply with the request to please the troubled parent.  The fact is that most colds and flu, even most cases of bronchitis, are caused by viruses and antibiotics do not work on viruses – they fight bacteria.

Taking an antibiotic for a virus can cause more harm than good.  It won’t cure the problem or make you feel better (time will likely do that), but it may encourage your body to begin building up a resistance to the antibiotic.  If resistance occurs and you end up requiring the antibiotic for a bacterial infection in the future, it may not work for you.  That’s why it is important to take antibiotics only when they are appropriate and not to ask for them “just to be safe.”  The CDC has some very good information about when to use antibiotics.  

And while we’re on the subject of medications, remember not to give over-the-counter cough and cold products to infants and children younger than 2 years of age. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, these medications can have serious and life-threatening side effects.  Read more about over-the-counter medications.

Ah choo!

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Remember a couple of months ago when I wrote about the importance of a pre-pregnancy check-up? (Check out the Archives section if you missed it.) Well, here’s something I should have discussed with my provider, but completely forgot to bring it up at the time.

I’ve always suffered from seasonal allergies. It usually starts in early spring and lasts through the summer. My doctor prescribes inhalers and nasals sprays for relief of symptoms like wheezing and congestion. I have a couple of over-the-counter meds that help a little, too. Between the lilacs and spring cleaning though I can’t seem to catch a break.

Normally I don’t think about the medication I take. If I’m feeling lousy I open up the medicine cabinet and take what I need, but from now on I plan to exercise a little more caution by reading labels and talking to my doctor first. Some medicines may not be safe to use during pregnancy. This includes prescription, over-the-counter and herbal medicines. As an alternative, I’m going to try a humidifier and saline drops just to be on the safe side.

Prenatal Vitamins

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

I was in my car and heading back to work when I realized that I was smiling. My prescription slip was safely tucked in my daily planner on the passenger’s seat. I was happy and this was really happening. I couldn’t wait to drop it off at the pharmacy later that day. I wanted to see Joe and tell him all about my visit.

I brought the prescription up to the counter at CVS. They had my insurance information on file so the technician said it would only take about ten minutes. I aimlessly shopped around for things I didn’t need such as pony tail holders and sunflower seeds. When I returned the tech asked for my signature as she rummaged through a bin of stapled white bags. She found mine, scanned it and then I almost passed out. Forty-five bucks!?!

I started talking to myself out loud. “This is crazy. $45 a month for vitamins. Are these magical vitamins?” I must have been scaring the other customers because the pharmacist quickly walked up to the register. My insurance didn’t cover this particular brand. She said that they did have the generic version in stock, but we would have to get permission from my health care provider to switch. I left the store with no white bag.

It wasn’t that big of a deal. The next morning I got in touch with my doctors office and they called in the new prescription. The moral of the story is this… if you’re given a prescription talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about generic alternatives. It may save you a few bucks. And if you’re planning to have a baby saving money is especially important. That goes for over-the-counter medications too, including multivitamins. Just make sure to talk to your doctor, always read labels and follow the instructions before use.