Become a Smart Patient
Inquire About Technology
Ask if your pharmacy uses the latest safety cross-checking software and medication-monitoring technology.
Some pharmacies allow doctors to write prescriptions electronically. Your doctor can punch in your prescription, and it will be waiting for you at the pharmacy. This eliminates errors from misreading handwritten prescriptions, and renewals are a snap. Ask your pharmacist if she has this capability, then ask your doctor to use it.
What's the Buzz About Grapefruit Juice?
"Don't mix this drug with grapefruit juice!" This strange warning has been circulating in recent years. It's due to a nerdy biochemical thing. To digest grapefruit, you use the same enzymes in your lower intestines that you use to metabolize many drugs. This means more of the drug will reach your bloodstream, which can increase its effect and chances of being toxic.
Declare germ warfare