Measuring prescription medication for your child

Nearly all small children are prescribed liquid medication until they are old enough to swallow capsules. As a result, it’s important that adults be informed about the proper way to dispense the medication and protect their children’s health. According to the FDA, some of the most common types of dosing instruments include:

Dosage cups: These cups are designed for children who are old enough to drink from a cup without spilling. Adults should be sure to look carefully at the small numbers printed on the side of the cup to determine the correct fill level. Medicine should then be poured to that exact level when the cup is sitting on a flat surface.
Droppers: These are geared toward children who cannot drink from a cup, and require the adult to squeeze the proper amount of medication into the child’s mouth. Like the dosage cups, medicine must be brought to the exact line on the side of the dropper that was recommended by a doctor. Adults should squeeze the liquid quickly out of the dropper so it cannot fall on the floor before it gets into the child’s mouth.
Cylindrical dosage spoons: These spoons look like a large straw with a spoon at one end and are used for children who can drink from a cup, but are likely to spill. In this case, adults should again fill the liquid to the appropriate marked line and be sure it is even at eye level. Children then drink the medicine from the spoon.

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about your child’s prescription medication. It’s important to be educated so you can protect the health of your young child.

Questions to ask about child prescriptions

If your child needs medication to recover from an illness, talk to your True Dental Discounts prescription plan doctor about the medicine she has prescribed before you take it home. Some questions to ask include:

  • What exactly is the drug? What does it prevent or do?
  • How often does my child need to take this medication? In what dosage?
  • What side effects come with taking this medication? Should I be alert for any changes in condition?
  • How soon after taking the medication will it start working?
  • What if my child skips a dose?
  • How long should I continue giving my child this medicine?
  • Should I continue administering the remaining medication, even if the child appears to be recovered?
  • Could this medication possibly interfere with another medication my child currently takes?

This prescription can cause what?

Television commercials for prescription drugs today are filled with disclaimers about the risks of side effects. All drugs – even aspirin – have side effects, but they range from minor and slightly irritating to very serious. According to pharmacist Jim Morelli, the most common side effects of medication involve the gastrointestinal system (such as upset stomachs). Fortunately, the FDA must approve all new drugs released on the market to protect consumers and weigh the benefits vs. risks of each medication. However, many side effects are not known until after the product has been released. Because of this, the FDA recently mandated that all dispensed prescriptions (as well as many over-the-counter medications) must be labeled with a toll-free number. This number gives anyone the opportunity to report adverse effects they experience from taking the medication.

The risk of side effects alone should not discourage people from taking medicine that is necessary for their health, so talk to your True Dental Discounts doctor or pharmacist about any potential effects of prescriptions you’ve been taking. He or she can explain the benefits vs. risks of each drug and show you how to prevent certain irritating symptoms such as dry mouth. If you do happen to notice adverse effects from your prescriptions, it is important to tell your doctor because he or she can help you find a different prescription that works best for your body and your overall health.

Smart medication habits

Are you well-prepared when it comes to taking, storing and disposing of your prescription medication? Even if you think you are, it’s important to make sure you’re following these intelligent habits, recommended by the National Council on Patient Information and Education:

  • Make a list of your medicines and take it with you to all of your doctor’s appointments.
  • Tell your doctor about any problems you have taking medicines, whether it be side effects or simply having difficulty with swallowing pills.
  • Recognize that all medicines have both risks and benefits, and talk to your doctor about which prescriptions are right for you.
  • Read and follow all instructions carefully, and contact your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions regarding the dosage, frequency, or length of the medication.
  •  Store your medicines safely away from children and pets. Make sure you always keep your prescriptions enclosed in a child-proof case and store them out of reach of young fingers.
  • Do not dispose of medications by flushing them down the toilet or sink.

Patients who follow these recommendations are often more informed and health-conscious when it comes to their medications. Of course, another smart medicine habit is to take advantage of your True Dental Discounts, pharmacy discount and use it to purchase your prescriptions at a lower cost. This is a great way to to be smart about both your health and your bank account. For more information, check it out at www.truedentaldiscounts.com

Dry mouth and your prescriptions

It may seem like it’s just a minor hassle, but dry mouth – officially known as xerostomia – can have a major impact on a person’s oral health. The condition is appropriately referred to as dry mouth because it indicates a lack of saliva and is often accompanied by symptoms such as bad breath, a sore throat, and cracked lips. The causes of dry mouth range from normal aging to cancer treatments, but one of the major triggers is taking certain prescription medication. Specifically, the Mayo Clinic names drugs aimed at treating depression, anxiety, diarrhea, urinary incontinence and Parkinson’s disease as having a side effect of dry mouth. Because the number of medications taken typically rises with age, dry mouth is much more prevalent in older adults.

On its own, saliva plays a very important function in preserving a person’s oral health. It helps remove food and plaque from the teeth, preventing tooth decay; it limits infection-causing bacteria; and it neutralizes acids in the mouth. Not to mention, it makes food easier to swallow and taste, and it helps a person’s digestion. For these reasons, it’s very important to talk to your doctor or dentist if you notice persistent periods of dry mouth. If it is determined that a prescription is causing the condition, he or she can adjust your dosage or prescribe a similar drug that doesn’t have dry mouth as a side effect. You can also try drinking more water, breathing through your nose, or quitting any use of tobacco. Regardless of the treatment, it’s crucial that you work with your dentist to prevent future occurrences of dry mouth. The health of your teeth and mouth could depend on it.