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+FROM A PARISH NURSE+

The Informed Patient
Almost daily mailings for Medicare Plan D coverage and drug ads in magazines, newspapers and on television are constant reminders of the vast variety of medications now on the market. One does not need to be a Medicare recipient to have an illness that requires costly drugs. Our population can expect to live longer and in the process acquire illness managed by physician-ordered medication. Each addition to a list of medications increases the risk for unexpected reactions, mistakes in dosages and the potential for a serious interaction. It is for all of us to become informed patients in order to prevent these from occurring. To reduce those risks:
1.Prepare a list of all medications, including over the counter pills, to take to your doctors visits.
2.List all drug and food allergies.
3.Always know why you are taking the medication, how it should be taken (with, before or after meals), when, how long, & what side effects may occur if any.
4.Take them only as instructed. If a side effect occurs, stop taking them and call your physician.
5.As drug costs continue to rise, you may decide to compare pharmacies for the best price.
6.Ask your physician to prescribe a generic substitute, if available.
7.Request samples of a newly ordered pill to make sure you will tolerate it before having a prescription filled.
8.If you qualify and have no other plan, take advantage of the Medicare Plan D, or check into other plans that offer assistance to younger adults.

Prayer: Dear Lord, we daily thank you for our good health care sources. Help us to care for our bodies in a way that is good and pleasing to you, so we may serve and love you and those around us. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Written by Marlene Groll, Parish Nurse at St. Paul, Melrose Park
Jane Geske, R.N., C. Parish Nurse Coordinator
Lutheran Home & Services Arlington Heights, IL Phone: 224/735/4027

10/29/2007