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7 Questions You Should Ask About Meds

From the Show: Wellness for Life
Summary: Make informed decisions about the medications you take.
Air Date: 3/23/18
Duration: 27:12
Host: Susanne Bennett, DC
Guest Bio: Su Robotti, Founder of MedShadow Foundation
Su RobottiSuzanne Robotti founded MedShadow Foundation in 2012 after two major health issues drove her to become engaged in patient advocacy. Robotti's mother, like millions of other pregnant women in the 50s, 60s and early 70s took the drug DES (diethylstilbestrol) to prevent miscarriage and early labor. It did neither and instead left the pregnant women, children and descendants at risk for rare cancers, reproductive organ abnormalities and other serious medical conditions.

In 2010, Robotti's son was prescribed Ritalin for ADHD, but when the doctor was unable to reference any studies on the long-term effects of the drug, she decided against it. This raised a concern in her that parents were not aware of the lack of studies and this is an issue of informed consent. 

Soon after she decided to start MedShadow because so many people are not aware of the lack of information on the long-term effects of drugs. MedShadow is a means of raising the discussion of risks alongside benefits of medicines into the public discourse.
  • Guest Facebook Account: www.facebook.com/medshadow.foundation
  • Guest Twitter Account: @med_shadow
7 Questions You Should Ask About Meds
The United States alone holds 45% of the global pharmaceutical market. The cost for developing a new drug has grown substantially. Research on long-term effects from these drugs is lacking.

Learning more about medications will help you make an informed decision before choosing to take them.

Seven Questions Worth Asking

  1. What is the lowest effective dose? Every body is different. Dosage is based on the average. Your body may require more or less than the average dose based on your metabolism. The more you consume, the more likely you are to experience the side effects. Start slow and increase the dose if necessary.
  2. Can this drug cause dependency or a rebound effect? Find out if your body can become dependent on the drug. It only takes two to three days for your body to become dependent on a heartburn drug. When the medicine stops, the condition may rebound even worse. You can either become dependent on the drug or tough it out until your body figures out it needs to handle that condition on its own.
  3. What is the shortest amount of time you need to be on this drug? Medication is hard on your liver and kidneys. The fewer medications you take in your lifetime, the easier it will be on your organs. Find out if you can stop the drug cold turkey or if you have to wean yourself off of it. Take all of your prescriptions with you for your annual exams. You may not need to take everything now.
  4. What are the particular side effects? Pay attention to low libido, weight gain, liver and kidney issues.
  5. What if you are pregnant, plan to get pregnant or are nursing? Exposure to medication can affect your child. Look to alternative medicine. Pregnant women are not included in drug trials so all of the side effects are not known. Some medications are too important to your health to discontinue during this time.
  6. How do other things interact with the drug? Sugar, alcohol and caffeine may exaggerate the effectiveness.
  7. Can you or should you consider lifestyle changes instead of taking this medication? Sleep, nutrition, fitness and other changes may address your condition.
Listen as Su Robotti of MedShadow joins Dr. Susanne Bennett to share questions you should ask before taking medications.