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Have You Been Taking Your Medicine Too Long?

September 26, 2020
Almost half of all Americans – that’s 300 million and counting – are taking a prescribed drug right now. That doesn’t count the over-the-counter medications, vitamins, supplements and herbs that people take for medicinal purposes.

But not every medication is meant to be taken for a lifetime. In fact, taking too much medicine is often as bad as taking no medication at all. Stopping certain medications may, in fact, help you fight the symptoms you were originally taking the medications to combat.

So how much is enough? How do you know how long to take a medication?  Usually, it’s a matter of asking your doctor, particularly with prescription medications. Doctors are very aware of the addictive nature of certain medications, and will work hard to avoid putting a patient at risk of developing a habit. More to the point, medications often expire, or lose their efficacy with time. That’s why your doctor and pharmacist write a prescription for a limited amount of time.

Stopping your medications without tapering off can also have severe consequences. Again, it is a matter of consulting with your doctor to make sure the medication you’re taking is on schedule and within established parameters. Taking any medication has inherent risks. That’s why it is supervised and regulated by trained medical professionals, pharmacists and the government.

TEMPORARY MEDICATIONS

Short-term use of certain medications is designed to treat minor problems. Taking them longer than prescribed can create unwanted side effects, adding insult to injury. These include the following: