The Mommies Network recently spoke with Executive Director of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, Dr. Carmen Catizone, about the dangers of Prescription Drug Abuse. Dr. Catizone is the Executive Director of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) and a licensed pharmacist. He currently serves as a Governor of the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) Board of Directors and Chair of the PTCB Certification Council. Dr. Catizone is regularly called to serve as an expert witness for the US Government in the areas of pharmacy practice and regulation on both the state and national level issues.
TMN: Why is it dangerous to take someone else's prescription? Shouldn't my children be able to share an antibiotic so I don't have to buy two bottles? Can I save some money by not giving the last couple of doses until my child gets sick again?
Dr. Catizone: Your health can change quickly and your doctor and your pharmacist need to assess your most current personal health information when prescribing and dispensing prescription medications for you. Further, your health care providers consider your current medications – both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) – as well as allergies you may have, your current age, and many other factors when determining the best medication therapy for you.
For children’s medications, the pediatrician and other health care providers will also consider the child’s current age and weight when making prescribing decisions. A medication prescribed for one child in the home, may not be appropriate for another child.
With regard to antibiotics, as with any medications, these drugs should be taken according to a doctor’s instructions. The following three tips are important to remember:
1. Antibiotics are Prescribed for a Particular Infection: Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises that patients do not save antibiotic medications, and also cautions that you should not take antibiotics that were prescribed for someone else. FDA explains that the drug you are prescribed is meant for a particular infection at that time. Only a health care provider can determine the right treatment for your infection, and taking the wrong drug can delay the appropriate treatment and your infection might get worse.
2. Antibiotics are not Always Appropriate: Also, certain conditions caused by viruses should not be treated with antibiotics. For example, some ear infections and some types of bronchitis are caused by a virus and should not be treated with antibiotics. If more than one child in the home is ill, each child should see the doctor to receive a treatment plan.
3. Use Antibiotics as Directed, Complete the Prescription: In addition, when antibiotics are prescribed, the entire course of antibiotics should be completed as directed to completely heal the infection. Even when symptoms are gone, the patient should finish the prescription, or the infection may return and/or become resistant to the medication in the future.
Additional information about appropriate use of antibiotics is available in the “Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work” section of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Web site.
In short, taking medications when not prescribed, puts you or your children at risk for inappropriate treatment and delayed recovery, drug-drug interactions, overdose, and allergic reactions, and can lead to serious health consequences, permanent injuries, or death. CDC reports that in 2009, 1.2 million emergency department visits were related to the misuse or abuse of prescription drugs.
Join us tomorrow for Part Three of our enlightening discussion with Dr. Catizone. Find Part One here.
· CDC Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work · Safe Medication Disposal ·AWARxE: Get Local · FDA Drug Disposal Information · NIDA Community Drug Alert Bulletin - Prescription Drugs ·The Road to Nowhere: Prescription Drug Abuse educational slideshow · Video: The Road to Nowhere · FDA Video: Teaching Kids About Using Medicine Safely