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DoctorGetWell's Monthly Column
Dr. Alex Tatevian has maintained a monthly acupuncture column in the health section of the Federal Hill Gazette since 1999.      
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  Federall Hill Gazette; December 2003

Use Medicines Wisely

   According to the 2001 study “Drug Related Morbidity and Mortality: Updating the Cost of Mortality”, there were 158 million medication-related problems reported in the United States, some resulted in hospitalization or even death.
    Robert J. Michocki, chairman of the department of pharmacy practice and science at the University of Maryland, offers the safety tips:
   
   · Remember that herbal and dietary supplements are medications, too. Some can interact with both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.
   
   · Ask about potential food and beverage interactions that may make medications less effective. For example, calcium-rich products such as milk and cheese can reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics. And grapefruit juice shouldn't be consumed if you're taking certain blood-pressure medications.
   
   · There are drugs that elderly people should not take, especially if they have cardiac, psychiatric, respiratory or gastrointestinal disorders.
   
    · Store your medications in a medicine cabinet outside the bathroom. Steam from showers and baths may affect the potency and effectiveness of some drugs. If your pills are moist and powdery, don’t take them.
   
    · If you can't swallow pills, ask about alternatives. Dissolving or crushing pills to swallow them might change how the pill works.
   
    · Keep accurate track of your children's weight; it’s is the best way for a pharmacist to determine the appropriate dosage for OTC drugs.
   
    · Generic drugs are manufactured using the same U.S. FDA regulations as brand name drugs, but are priced differently. There is little evidence that there is a difference in the therapy provided by generic and brand name drugs.
   
    · Mixing a prescription medication with an OTC drug containing the same active ingredient can lead to an overdose.
   
   · Make sure that you take the right dose at scheduled times. Pill timers, organizers and pillboxes can help.
   
    · When in doubt, consult your doctor or pharmacist!
   
    Acupuncture is a true drug-free medicine that makes medications more effective and lessens the danger of side effects. It can help to reduce the amount of pills that you need, or sometimes get off medication completely.
   
   We welcome all questions that you may have.
    You can ask your questions on-line at www.DoctorGetWell.org or email them to getwell@doctor.com or send them to:
    Alex Tatevian, DA
   ACU WELL Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine
   141 Airport Road, Warwick, RI 02889
   Phone (401) 738-9355
 
 
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getwell@doctor.com 141 Airport Road, Warwick, RI 02889 Tel (401) 738-9355   Fax (401) 679-0038