Friday, February 03, 2012

Health Care in America - "Possible Side Effects" Warnings

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The Broken American Health Care System

Did you ever wonder if you were the only one who could not read the fine print warnings in pharmaceutical drug ads, especially on the pill bottles and boxes we buy from the local pharmacy?

Come on, no one can squint that hard to read or hear that fast to understand those "possible side effects" warnings somewhere in that blur on the bottle label.  Most of us who get these drugs from a trusted doctor probably don't really want to know the side effects.

Did you notice how they keep getting longer and longer and the wording gets more confusing with each new prescription?  But who cares, it's the insurance company problem, not mine.



That is so Modern America, "it's someone else's problem not mine."  I can't accept the Modern America standard.  I refuse to believe we have to be clueless about what is going on because we have someone else taking care of those problems.

There will never be health care reform in a real sense until people, you and I, start questioning the experts, make sure we protect ourselves with knowledge, and stop relying on others to act for us.  You want to be healthy?  Then you take responsibility for your health!  It is too damn precious for you to delegate the responsibility for your health to anyone else.

I am not one to blame every person in health care for our problems, more specifically for breaking our system.  There are many people in health care whose motives are to help people but we are all victims of systematic control of our health care infrastructure.


Our hope for finding a way out of the malaise is to question everything you are told about your health care and treatment.

If your doctor prescribes drugs ask if the doctor or his practice receive a payment from the drug company for generating sales?

Are there any natural herbs or treatments than can treat the problem without causing major problems to your bodies like the western medical treatment?  For instance, CAT Scans and MRIs bombard you with far more radiation than X rays while prescribed antibodies can devastate your immune system.

There is much information you need to know before you blindly take something.  Is it absolutely essential that you take it or is it just being prescribed in the event you may get some unknown or undetected virus or bacteria?  Often procedures or prescriptions are given because they really don't know what is wrong with you.


In such a case they try to rule out all the possibilities for your illness.  Once upon a time your general practitioner could identify your illness without treating you for all kinds of things that "might" be causing the problem.

That was before the Hippocratic Oath had the new amendment:

"We promise the American people to never waver from our mission to bring you the best health care money can buy."

Or is it, "to spend the most money to get you the best care"?

Or, "to take your money, all your money, to show you how much we care."

Hate to admit that amendment story is not literally true because as far as I know those words are not yet in the Hippocratic oath.

In order to help you understand the need to ask questions, I am going to provide you with a readable size of the warning labels on some of the most popular legal prescription drugs in America.  You may very well be using some as they are all part of the Multi Billion Dollar Prescription Drug business brought to you by your friendly neighborhood doctor.

Remember, you can only get the drugs with your doctor's prescription.


I am not altering a word from the RX websites that post the warnings for the legal drug industry.  Hollywood script writers could never equal the "company line" as stated in the following actual warnings for some of the most popular drugs you get.

Read as much as you can stand because it is the truth, you or your kids may be taking it whether you really need it or not, and education, especially the truth, can empower you and may save your life.

Important information about Nexium

You should not take Nexium if you are allergic to esomeprazole or to any other benzimidazole medication such as albendazole (Albenza), or mebendazole (Vermox).

Before you take Nexium tell your doctor if you have severe liver disease or low levels of magnesium in your blood.

Nexium is not for immediate relief of heartburn symptoms.

Some conditions are treated with a combination of Nexium and antibiotics. Use all medications as directed by your doctor. Read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each medication. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without your doctor's advice.

Take Nexium for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the condition is fully treated.

Heartburn is often confused with the first symptoms of a heart attack. Seek emergency medical attention if you have chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, and a general ill feeling.

Before taking Nexium

You should not take Nexium if you are allergic to esomeprazole or to any other benzimidazole medication such as albendazole (Albenza), or mebendazole (Vermox).

To make sure you can safely take Nexium, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
·                    severe liver disease; or
·                    low levels of magnesium in your blood.

Taking a proton pump inhibitor such as Nexium may increase your risk of bone fracture in the hip, wrist, or spine. This effect has occurred mostly in people who have taken the medication long term or at high doses, and in those who are age 50 and older. It is not clear whether Nexium is the actual cause of an increased risk of fracture. Before you take this medication, tell your doctor if you have osteoporosis or osteopenia (low bone mineral density).

Some conditions are treated with a combination of Nexium and antibiotics. Use all medications as directed by your doctor. Read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each medication. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without your doctor's advice.

Heartburn is often confused with the first symptoms of a heart attack. Seek emergency medical attention if you have chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, and a general ill feeling.

FDA pregnancy category B. Nexium is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment with Nexium. It is not known whether esomeprazole passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use Nexium without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take Nexium?

Take Nexium exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Nexium is usually given for 4 to 8 weeks only. Your doctor may recommend a second course of treatment if you need additional healing time.

Take each dose with a full glass (8 ounces) of water. Nexium should be taken at least one hour before a meal.

You may open the delayed-release capsule and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of pudding or applesauce to make swallowing easier. Swallow this mixture right away without chewing. Do not save the mixture for later use. Discard the empty capsule.

Nexium can be given through a nasogastric (NG) feeding tube. Open the capsule and sprinkle the medicine into a 60-milliliter syringe. Mix in 50 milliliters of water. Place the plunger into the syringe and shake the mixture well. Make sure there are no medicine granules stuck in the tip of the syringe. Attach the syringe to the NG tube and push the plunger down to empty the syringe into the tube. Then flush the tube with more water to wash the contents down.

Take Nexium for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the condition is fully treated. Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse while you are taking this medicine.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

See also: Nexium dosage (in more detail)

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include confusion, headache, drowsiness, blurred vision, fast heartbeat, nausea, dry mouth, sweating, flushing, shortness of breath, tremor, loss of coordination, or seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid while taking Nexium?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Nexium side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Nexium: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using Nexium and call your doctor at once if you have any of these symptoms of low magnesium such as:
·                    dizziness, confusion;
·                    fast or uneven heart rate;
·                    jerking muscle movements;
·                    feeling jittery;
·                    muscle cramps, muscle weakness or limp feeling;
·                    cough or choking feeling; or
·                    seizure (convulsions).

Less serious Nexium side effects may include:
·                    headache, drowsiness;
·                    diarrhea;
·                    nausea, stomach pain, gas, constipation; or
·                    dry mouth.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Important information about Lipitor

You should not take Lipitor if you are allergic to atorvastatin, if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, or if you have liver disease. Stop taking Lipitor and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.

Before taking Lipitor, tell your doctor if you have diabetes, a thyroid disorder, muscle pain or weakness, a history of liver or kidney disease, or if you drink more than 2 alcoholic beverages daily.

In rare cases, Lipitor can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure. Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine.

Avoid eating foods that are high in fat or cholesterol. Lipitor will not be as effective in lowering your cholesterol if you do not follow a cholesterol-lowering diet plan.

Avoid drinking alcohol. It can raise triglyceride levels and may increase your risk of liver damage.

There are many other drugs that can increase your risk of serious medical problems if you take them together with Lipitor. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to any healthcare provider who treats you.

Lipitor is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.

Before taking Lipitor

You should not take Lipitor if you are allergic to atorvastatin, if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, or if you have liver disease.

To make sure you can safely take Lipitor, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
·                    history of liver disease;
·                    history of kidney disease;
·                    muscle pain or weakness;
·                    diabetes;
·                    a thyroid disorder; or
·                    if you drink more than 2 alcoholic beverages daily.

In rare cases, Lipitor can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure. This condition may be more likely to occur in older adults and in people who have kidney disease or poorly controlled hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).

Tell your doctor about all other medications you use. Certain other drugs can increase your risk of serious muscle problems, and it is very important that your doctor knows if you are using any of them:
·                    diltiazem (Cartia, Cardizem);
·                    gemfibrozil (Lopid), fenofibric acid (Fibricor, Trilipix), or fenofibrate (Antara,               Fenoglide, Lipofen, Lofibra, Tricor, Triglide);
·                    antibiotics such as clarithromycin (Biaxin) or erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin);
·                    antifungal medicines such as fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Extina, Ketozole, Nizoral, Xolegal), or voriconazole (Vfend);
·                    HIV medications such as ritonavir (Norvir), lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra), or saquinavir (Invirase);
·                    medicines that contain niacin (Advicor, Niaspan, Niacor, Simcor, Slo-Niacin, and others); or
·                    drugs that weaken your immune system, such as steroids, cancer medicine, or medicines used to prevent organ transplant rejection, such as cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune), sirolimus (Rapamune), or tacrolimus (Prograf).

FDA pregnancy category X. Lipitor can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Do not take Lipitor if you are pregnant. Stop taking this medication and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant. Use effective birth control to avoid pregnancy while you are taking Lipitor. Atorvastatin may pass into breast milk and could harm a nursing baby. Do not breast-feed while you are taking Lipitor.

How should I take Lipitor?

Take Lipitor exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Do not break an Lipitor tablet unless your doctor has told you.

Lipitor is usually taken once a day, with or without food. Take the medicine at the same time each day. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

You may need to stop using Lipitor for a short time if you have:
·                    uncontrolled seizures;
·                    an electrolyte imbalance (such as high or low potassium levels in your blood);
·                    severely low blood pressure;
·                    a severe infection or illness; or
·                    surgery or a medical emergency.

To be sure Lipitor is helping your condition and is not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested often. Your liver function may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.

Lipitor is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely. You may need to take Lipitor on a long-term basis for the treatment of high cholesterol. Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if your next dose is less than 12 hours away. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking Lipitor?

Avoid eating foods that are high in fat or cholesterol. Lipitor will not be as effective in lowering your cholesterol if you do not follow a cholesterol-lowering diet plan.

Avoid drinking alcohol. It can raise triglyceride levels and may increase your risk of liver damage.

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with Lipitor and lead to potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor. Do not increase or decrease the amount of grapefruit products in your diet without first talking to your doctor.

Lipitor side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Lipitor: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop taking Lipitor and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness;
  • fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine;
  •  swelling, weight gain, urinating less than usual or not at all; or
  • nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious Lipitor side effects may include:
  • mild muscle pain;
  • diarrhea; or
  • mild nausea.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Important information about Plavix

Plavix keeps your blood from coagulating (clotting) to prevent unwanted blood clots that can occur with certain heart or blood vessel conditions. Because of this drug action, Plavix can make it easier for you to bleed, even from a minor injury. Contact your doctor or seek emergency medical attention if you have bleeding that will not stop.

You may also have bleeding on the inside of your body, such as in your stomach or intestines. Call your doctor at once if you have black or bloody stools, or if you cough up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds. These could be signs of bleeding in your digestive tract.

Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of bleeding in your stomach or intestines.

If you need surgery or dental work, tell the surgeon or dentist ahead of time that you are using Plavix. You may need to stop using the medicine for at least 5 days before having surgery, to prevent excessive bleeding. Follow your doctor's instructions and start taking Plavix again as soon as possible.

While you are taking Plavix, do not take aspirin or other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) without your doctor's advice. NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, Naprelan, Treximet), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), indomethacin (Indocin), meloxicam (Mobic), and others.

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use to prevent blood clots.

Before taking Plavix

Do not use Plavix if you are allergic to clopidogrel, or if you have any active bleeding such as a stomach ulcer or bleeding in the brain (such as from a head injury).

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests:
·                    a bleeding or blood clotting disorder, such as TTP (thrombocytopenic purpura) or hemophilia;
·                    a history of stroke, including TIA ("mini-stroke");
·                    a stomach ulcer or ulcerative colitis; or
·                    kidney disease.

FDA pregnancy category B. Plavix is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether clopidogrel passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are taking Plavix.

How should I take Plavix?

Take Plavix exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Take Plavix with a full glass of water.

Plavix can be taken with or without food.

Because Plavix keeps your blood from coagulating (clotting) to prevent unwanted blood clots, it can also make it easier for you to bleed, even from a minor injury. Contact your doctor or seek emergency medical attention if you have bleeding that will not stop.

If you need surgery or dental work, tell the surgeon or dentist ahead of time that you are using Plavix. You may need to stop using the medicine for at least 5 days before having surgery, to prevent excessive bleeding. Follow your doctor's instructions and start taking Plavix again as soon as possible. Do not stop using Plavix without first talking to your doctor. Use Plavix regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

To be sure this medicine is not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested often. Visit your doctor regularly.

Store Plavix at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include vomiting, feeling exhausted or short of breath, and blood in your stools or vomit.

What should I avoid while taking Plavix?

While you are taking Plavix, do not take aspirin or other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) without your doctor's advice. NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, Naprelan, Treximet), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), indomethacin (Indocin), meloxicam (Mobic), and others.

Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding or injury. Use extra care to prevent bleeding while shaving or brushing your teeth.

Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of bleeding in your stomach or intestines.

Plavix side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Plavix: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using Plavix and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
·                    nosebleed or other bleeding that will not stop;
·                    bloody or tarry stools, blood in your urine;
·                    coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
·                    chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
·                    sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
·                    sudden headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
·                    pale skin, weakness, fever, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
·                    easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin.

Less serious Plavix side effects may include itching.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Important information about Advair

Do not use Advair to treat an asthma attack that has already begun.

Salmeterol may increase the risk of asthma-related death. Use only the prescribed dose of Advair, and do not use it for longer than your doctor recommends. Follow all patient instructions for safe use. Talk with your doctor about your individual risks and benefits of using this medication.

Before using Advair, tell your doctor if you have a food or drug allergy, heart disease, high blood pressure, a seizure disorder, an infection, a weak immune system, diabetes, glaucoma, tuberculosis, osteoporosis, a thyroid disorder, or liver disease.

Seek medical attention if you think any of your asthma medications are not working as well as usual. An increased need for medication could be an early sign of a serious asthma attack. If you use a peak flow meter at home, call your doctor if your numbers are lower than normal.

Before using Advair

Do not use Advair if you are allergic to fluticasone (Flonase, Flovent), salmeterol (Serevent), or milk proteins, or if you are having an asthma attack or severe COPD symptoms.

To make sure you can safely use Advair, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
·                    a food or drug allergy;
·                    heart disease or high blood pressure;
·                    epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
·                    any type of infection;
·                    a weak immune system;
·                    diabetes;
·                    glaucoma;
·                    tuberculosis;
·                    osteoporosis;
·                    a thyroid disorder; or
·                    liver disease.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Advair is harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication. It is not known whether fluticasone and salmeterol passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use Advair without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

See also: Advair pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

Advair can affect growth in children. Talk with your doctor if you think your child is not growing at a normal rate while using this medication.

Do not give this medication to a child younger than 4 years old.

Long-term use of steroids may lead to bone loss (osteoporosis), especially if you smoke, if you do not exercise, if you do not get enough vitamin D or calcium in your diet, or if you have a family history of osteoporosis.

How should I use Advair?

Use Advair exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not use Advair in larger amounts, or use it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow all patient instructions for safe use.

Advair comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use, and directions for priming the inhaler device if needed. Follow these directions carefully.

Salmeterol may increase the risk of asthma-related death. Talk with your doctor about your individual risks and benefits of using this medication.

Do not use Advair to treat an asthma attack that has already begun. It will not work fast enough. Use only a fast-acting inhalation medication.

Advair Diskus is a powder form of fluticasone and salmeterol that comes with a special inhaler device pre-loaded with blister packs containing measured doses of the medicine. The device opens and loads a blister each time you use the inhaler. This device is not to be used with a spacer.

Advair HFA is an aerosol form of fluticasone and salmeterol that comes in a canister that is used with an actuator inhaler device. Use only the inhaler device provided with Advair HFA. This device is not to be used with a spacer.

Shake the Advair HFA inhaler for at least 5 seconds before each spray.

Keep track of the number of sprays you have used and throw away the Advair HFA canister after 120 sprays, even if it feels like there is still medicine in it.

If you also use a steroid medication, do not stop using the steroid suddenly or you may have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Talk with your doctor about using less and less of the steroid before stopping completely.

Carry an identification card or wear a medical alert ID to let others know that you may need an oral steroid in an emergency.

Seek medical attention if you think any of your asthma medications are not working as well as usual. An increased need for medication could be an early sign of a serious asthma attack. If you use a peak flow meter at home, call your doctor if your numbers are lower than normal.

Use all of your medications as directed by your doctor. Talk with your doctor if your medications do not seem to work as well in treating or preventing attacks. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without advice from your doctor.

Store Advair at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the Advair HFA canister away from high heat, such as open flame or in a car on a hot day. The canister may explode if it gets too hot.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. Overdose symptoms may include angina or chest pain, fast or irregular heartbeats, seizures, tremor, weakness, headache, nausea, and vomiting.

What should I avoid while using Advair?

Do not use a second form of salmeterol (such as Serevent) or use a similar inhaled bronchodilator such as formoterol (Foradil) unless your doctor has told you to.

Advair can lower the blood cells that help your body fight infections. Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Call your doctor for preventive treatment if you are exposed to chicken pox or measles. These conditions can be serious or even fatal in people who are using steroid medicines.

Advair side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Advair: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
·                    bronchospasm (wheezing, chest tightness, trouble breathing);
·                    fast or uneven heart beats, restless feeling, tremor;
·                    fever, chills, stabbing chest pain, cough with yellow or green mucus;
·                    blurred vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;
·                    white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips; or
·                    worsening asthma symptoms.

Less serious Advair side effects include:
·                    headache, dizziness;
·                    nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
·                    dry mouth, nose, or throat;
·                    stuffy nose, sinus pain, cough, sore throat; or
·                    hoarseness or deepened voice.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Important information about OxyContin


OxyContin may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it. Do not drink alcohol while you are taking OxyContin. Dangerous side effects or death can occur when alcohol is combined with a narcotic pain medicine. Check your food and medicine labels to be sure these products do not contain alcohol. Never take OxyContin in larger amounts, or for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain. OxyContin may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert. Do not stop using OxyContin suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using oxycodone.

Before using OxyContin

Do not use OxyContin if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a narcotic medicine (examples include methadone, morphine, Oxycontin, Darvocet, Percocet, Vicodin, Lortab, and many others), or to a narcotic cough medicine that contains codeine, hydrocodone, or dihydrocodeine.

You should also not take OxyContin if you are having an asthma attack or if you have a bowel obstruction called paralytic ileus.

OxyContin may be habit forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.

To make sure you can safely take OxyContin, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
·                    asthma, COPD, sleep apnea, or other breathing disorders;
·                    liver or kidney disease;
·                    underactive thyroid;
·                    trouble swallowing, or a blockage in your digestive tract (stomach or intestines);
·                    curvature of the spine;
·                    a history of head injury or brain tumor;
·                    epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
·                    low blood pressure;
·                    gallbladder disease;
·                    Addison's disease or other adrenal gland disorders;
·                    enlarged prostate, urination problems;
·                    mental illness; or
·                    a history of drug or alcohol addiction.

FDA pregnancy category B. OxyContin is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Oxycodone can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using OxyContin. Older adults may be more likely to have side effects from this medicine.

How should I use OxyContin?

Take OxyContin exactly as prescribed. Never take OxyContin in larger amounts, or for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain.

Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole. Breaking the pill may cause too much of the drug to be released at one time. If your doctor has told you to take two or more OxyContin tablets per dose, take the tablets one at a time. Do not wet, presoak, or lick the tablet before placing it in your mouth. Drink plenty of water to make swallowing easier and to prevent choking.

Drink plenty of water daily to help prevent constipation while you are using OxyContin. Ask your doctor about ways to increase the fiber in your diet. Do not use a stool softener (laxative) without first asking your doctor.

Do not stop using OxyContin suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using OxyContin.

Never crush a tablet or other pill to mix into a liquid for injecting the drug into your vein. This practice has resulted in death with the misuse of OxyContin and similar prescription drugs.

Store OxyContin at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and light.

Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. OxyContin is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.

After you have stopped using OxyContin, flush any unused pills down the toilet.

What happens if I miss a dose?

If you are taking the medication regularly, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

Extended-release OxyContin is not for use on an as-needed basis for pain.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of oxycodone can be fatal.

Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, muscle weakness, confusion, cold and clammy skin, pinpoint pupils, shallow breathing, slow heart rate, fainting, or coma.

What should I avoid while using OxyContin?

Do not drink alcohol while you are taking OxyContin. Dangerous side effects or death can occur when alcohol is combined with oxycodone. Check your food and medicine labels to be sure these products do not contain alcohol. OxyContin may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

OxyContin side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to OxyContin: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using OxyContin and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
·                    shallow breathing, slow heartbeat;
·                    seizure (convulsions);
·                    cold, clammy skin;
·                    confusion;
·                    severe weakness or dizziness; or
·                    feeling like you might pass out.

Less serious OxyContin side effects are more likely to occur, such as:
·                    nausea, vomiting, constipation, loss of appetite;
·                    dizziness, headache, tired feeling;
·                    dry mouth;
·                    sweating; or
·                    itching.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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1 comment:

Philip Smith said...

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