CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – When it comes to prescriptions, it’s not just important to follow your doctor’s orders. Your life could depend on it.
“I felt better. I didn’t think I needed it anymore,” said Rikel Lightner of Springfield. It can make feeling better, a lot harder, when you don’t stick to the directions on the back of your prescription bottle. “I recently had a prescription of antibiotics and I stopped taking it because I felt better. It was a 10 day course I think I took 9 days of it, but it happens,” said Lightner.
It does happen, and a lot more than you may think. New research from the CDC shows 50% of Americans don’t take their medicine as prescribed, and the consequences can be significant.
“They could be underdosing, and not getting the expected result. Or Overdosing, and then obviously there could be dire complications of taking too much medication,” said Dr. Marie Vitale, with Doctors Express of Springfield.
The American Pharmacists Association says more than 125,000 people die every year because they didn’t follow medication guidelines.That includes accidental overdoses. “Use a pillbox. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, a pillbox will tell you when to take the pill, in the morning or afternoon, and how frequent,” said Dr. Orlando Torres, with Baystate Medical Center.
During flu season, It’s also important to know when you should not be taking antibiotics. Antibiotics do not fight infections caused by viruses like colds or the flu, or sinus and ear infections. They also will not cure most sore throats, or bronchitis.
For creative ways to remember to take your medication, click here.