Q. The chances are very good that every time you get a prescription filled you will get a little leaflet in the bag with some information about your medicine. How reliable is the drug information you get?
A. A new study suggests that there are some significant problems with those little fliers you get with your medication!
Hear Joe on NPR’s Morning Edition talking about the leaflets you get with your Rx medications: http://tinyurl.com/2e38h2c

Join Over 53,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

Each week we send two free email newsletters with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies and a preview of our award-winning radio show. Join our mailing list and get the information you need to make confident choices about your health.

  1. GJS
    Reply

    I’ve had Kaiser Permanente as my health care provider for 20 years. Every time I pick up a new prescription, the on-duty pharmacist comes to the counter for a consultation. They ask what my condition is, explain the purpose of the medication, the dosage and possible side effects associated with the drug. Sometimes, they even ask me if I understand everything. Yes, there’s a pamphlet in the bag, but with service like this, I often times don’t feel the need to read it. Fortunate, I guess.

  2. Paul43
    Reply

    Fortunately I have a Great PCP who will discuss stuff with me— but I also check online about every new prescription.
    As soon as I get home –even before I fill the script I GOOGLE it. http://WWW.GOOGLE.COM All you have to do is type the name of the drug in the — SEARCH BOX — and it will give you tons of sites about the medicine.
    If you want to know if it will react with any of the other medicines you are taking–(the Doc should have already known this) you simply type in the SEARCH BOX — “MEDICINES THAT WILL REACT WITH (YOUR MEDICINE) and you’ll be amazed the amount of info that comes up
    Want to know who makes it— just type “WHO MANUFACTURES (YOUR MEDICINE)
    The nice thing about using GOOGLE’S search engine is that you can type the stuff you want to know about in the exact words you would ask someone.
    TRY IT–YOU’LL LOVE IT

  3. cpmt
    Reply

    Does anyone has an email or web address in particular where you can check medications/drugs names, side effects etc? It will be nice to know where to look. Thanks
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: ONE GOOD SOURCE IS http://www.iGuard.org

  4. Paul43
    Reply

    Anytime my Quack gives me a new script I question him thoroughly about. — Then when I get home I go straight to — http://WWW.GOOGLE.COM and look it up and read as much as I can about the side effects and what other medicine it may not play well with—and if anything weird pops up I ask the pharmacist about especially if it shows a reaction to taking another drug I am already taking with it.
    I know this is hard for an elderly person to do but there are Relatives & Senior Centers available to try and help them.
    I am an Insurance agent an market MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PROGRAMS— I have to ask the people I am talking to what kind of medicine they are taking to see if it is on the Insurance Company’s FORMULARY (list of drugs they pay for). These elderly people get up and come back with these BOXES of medicine bottles–and when I go through them and don’t recognize one I ask them—- “WHAT ARE YOU TAKING THIS FOR”— 9 out 10 times the answer is–“I DON’T KNOW THE DOCTOR TOLD ME TO TAKE IT”—SOMETIMES I WANT TO SCREAM & CRY AT THE SAME TIME.
    I would make an estimated guess that 90% of the Quacks out their care very little about their patient and just want to move on to the next one.
    I tell all my clients you have to be very, very, very PROACTIVE— carry a tablet with you and write everything he doctor tell you and if you don’t understand what he is talking about—ASKKKK !

  5. Tom
    Reply

    Its not very useful to have to go to the radio program for the information. For me it would be better if the content is published on the website.

  6. CJ
    Reply

    When leaflets are received, it is likely by an ill person who is not alert or able to deal with concentrating on details of the leaflet. The prescription was issued by a physician and the patient will follow the instructions to take the med only as he feels he has been evaluated by his doctor and advised to take it.
    That mistake has been made by 1000’s especially by those including myself who were duped to take a fluroquinolone which was supposed to have a major (‘black box’) warning on the leaflet and also on the bottle. It was not there, but if it had been, the patients would most likely have taken the med since the doctor prescribed it with no warning and the pharmacist issued it to them with no follow up.
    Any drug has its side effects but those with major warnings should be offered only with an understanding that the patient is made fully aware of the risks – if pharmacist cannot ‘read all the info’ perhaps just a requirement that patient sign to say he has been alerted to the warning and info would help those who might find themselves compromised.
    Also, there is not enough info on the leaflet pertaining to the particular drug and precautions as to how it should be administered (what to drink – what time of day – empty stomach – what foods to avoid while taking, etc.) A lot is expected on this little leaflet. I think personal instruction by physician would be more helpful than the leaflet and would take care of all at initial doctor visit when prescribing.

What Do You Think?

Share your thoughts with others, but be mindful of protecting your own and others' privacy. Not all comments will be posted. Advice from web visitors is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. In posting a comment, you agree to our commenting policy and website terms and conditions.