Health problems are not always as simple to fix as we might think. For many of us, we figure that as long as we follow the directions that the doctor gives us, then we will get better. This is not always the case. Our bodies can be puzzles, especially to an external viewer.

Here are some tips on seeing the signs that your medication may not be the best treatment plan for you.

Side Effects

We’ve all seen one of those commercials on T.V. that list a million, indecipherable side effects of a drug that we can hardly pronounce. It’s hard to remember them all, and even harder to know if you’re experiencing them yourself. Before starting your medication, you should familiarize yourself with its side effects.

If you can visualize how these might manifest in yourself, they should be easier to identify and handle should they arise. The most important thing is to stay safe. Knowing and understanding the possible side effects is a great way to do that. If a drug causes you to feel worse than before you took it there is a good chance that it is not the best course of action. Sometimes it can be hard to figure out if you’re experiencing a side effect or the intended effect of a drug, but it is still something that we must pay attention to.

Drug Interactions

When a prescription is filled after seeing a doctor, typically the pharmacy technician will ask if you would like to speak to a pharmacist regarding your medication.

Speaking to the pharmacist is a fantastic way to understand certain warning signs that will let you know if your medication is not working in the way that was intended. The pharmacist can also answer any last minute questions that you may have forgotten to run by the doctor about interactions with other medications and products you’re using, or anything else regarding your medication.

Some products and medications dull or enhance the effects of certain drugs, and pharmacists are some of the most educated people on the subject. Consulting them is a great way to both see, and understand fully, the effects of a drug or medicine.

Diet and Lifestyle

A person’s lifestyle choices can have a strong effect on how a drug works in their body. Alcohol intake, obesity, and smoking can all affect the outcome of a treatment. Cutting down on alcohol drinking or smoking, and exercising regularly can help ensure that a drug will have the desired effect. It is critical that we, as patients, are open and honest about these factors when speaking with doctors and/or pharmacists.

Non-Drug Treatments

There are many, many treatments for conditions that do not involve taking a medicine. If you can treat your ailment by simply exercising more, or changing diet, or through acupuncture, then it is usually healthier to take that route, especially when it comes to long term or chronic conditions. Many drugs can be harmful, especially if taken daily for a long period of time, so it is important to be on the lookout for other treatments and ways of dealing with your ailments.

Our problems are not always fixed with a simple, “take two and call me in the morning” style solution, and it is because of this that we must remain vigilant of our health. Staying healthy is the best way to prevent medical mishaps, but that isn’t always an option. Keeping track of how we feel and communicating that to our medical professionals accurately is critical to making sure that we are pursuing the correct treatment.