Online pharmacies and information leaflets

Whether you`re purchasing medicines over the counter or collecting prescription drugs, your medicines will always come with an information leaflet, offering instructions on how to take them correctly. The instructions included with prescription and non-prescription medications are required reading, ensuring effective usage and helping to prevent unwanted side-effects.

Prescription medicines should be taken as directed by your doctor and according to manufacturers` recommendations. Usually, the instructions given by a physician will be in line with those suggested by the information leaflet accompanying your medications. If the details on dosages given to you by a medical professional differ from those on the information supplied by the pharmaceutical company, it is always worth discussing the matter with your pharmacist or dispensing doctor.

If you take the contraceptive pill, or are a long-term user of prescription medication for chronic conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, angina or other health problems, you will, no doubt, be familiar with the usual way to take your medication and will be aware of contra-indications such as combining medicines or taking your pills with alcohol. Nevertheless, you should be aware that medical guidelines are changing all the time, so it is important to keep up with the latest instructions on taking your medication. Reading the information leaflet which accompanies your pills every time you receive a new batch of prescription drugs or purchase over-the-counter medicines will help to ensure that you are taking your medication correctly.

There are a number of risks associated with failure to read and follow the guidance offered by patient information leaflets accompanying medicines. Not taking your pills at the suggested intervals could mean your medicine is ineffective; this is most often the case with courses of antibiotics, which must be taken regularly until the end of the course to avoid infections returning. Even if you feel better, it is never a good idea to stop taking prescription medications until the end of the course.

With common over-the-counter drugs such as paracetamol, aspirin and other painkillers, it is all too easy to ignore the guidelines. People often make the mistake of assuming that readily available over-the-counter medicines are safe, simply because they are easily accessible and purchasing is not strictly regulated. While not taking your medication properly can lead to the drug being ineffective, there are other, more serious risks associated with ignoring the guidelines offered by patient information leaflets. Taking your medicines too frequently, taking more or less than the recommended dosage, or combining your medication with alcohol or illegal drugs puts you at high risk of dangerous chemical reactions which are likely to cause serious illness and could even result in death.

Although there are significant risks associated with not reading patient information leaflets and following the guidelines offered by pharmaceutical companies, dispensers and doctors, many users are not fully aware of the best way to take their medication. One of the major problems consumers face when reading patient information leaflets is a difficulty in understanding medical jargon. This can lead to users accidentally taking their pills incorrectly.

Those suffering with sensitive conditions such as to bowel or intestinal troubles or sexual health issues, may find it difficult to talk to their doctor or pharmacist about their problem, leading them to turn to over-the-counter medicines, or to buy medication online. Too embarrassed to seek appropriate diagnosis and advice on treatment, users can often find themselves ill-informed as to the correct way to take their medication

In order to find out more about the medicines they are taking, many people resort to the internet for further advice and information. Online resources can prove to be a useful source of information on ways to take over-the-counter and prescription medications and can offer important advice about appropriate dosage, as well as information on the side-effects and contra-indications of various drugs. However, it is essential that information on medication is sought from reputable sources. Online forums and personal blogs may often contain false information offered by unqualified individuals; following guidance from unreliable resources could put users at serious risk of accidental overdose or unwanted side-effects. Indeed, following poor advice on using certain medications could even prove fatal.

Anyone who takes medicines, herbal remedies or vitamins should be well-informed on how to take their medication safely and effectively according to the recommended dosage. Getting your medication from an online chemist can be extremely convenient and cost-effective. However, thorough research and a sound understanding of the way your medication works is particularly important when purchasing pharmaceutical products over the internet. Reading the patient advice leaflet carefully and seeking sound advice from reputable resources will help to ensure that you get the best from your medication and will help to avoid any untoward effects. If you have concerns about any medication you are taking, or are experiencing problematic side-effects, it is highly advisable to speak to a qualified pharmacist or medical professional.

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