Class discusses side effects of medicine

Senior Connection hosted a health education class for its members on July 10, which was presented by Brookwood/Shelby Baptist.

The seminar was led by Greg Bradford, clinical pharmacy specialist at Shelby Baptist Medical Center and Brookwood Baptist Health, and was attended by 66 people.

Bradford’s primary topics of discussion involved medicine and the thought processes that should be taken before and after taking any prescription.

“I see a lot of patients that come in and are just not familiar with their medications,” Bradford said. “They’re taking them as prescribed, but they just don’t know what they’re taking them for.”

According to Bradford, side effects can occur even if medicine is taken at the recommended amount.

Common medications that can bring about various cases of side effects include blood pressure, anticoagulants and steroids.

Typical drugs that do not mix well are Warfarin/Ibuprofen, Viagra/Nitroglycerin and Synthroid/multivitamins.

However, in some cases certain interactions with food, alcohol or other drugs can also lead to side effects.

Alcohol and grapefruit can have a severe reaction when consumed along with medication. Others that have been known to have an opposite effect are the combinations of Warfarin/green leafy vegetables and milk with certain antibiotics.

“Often times they [people] are very hesitant to be honest about side effects,” Bradford said. “They feel like they are letting their physician down, if they are not doing what they are told.”

A common question that Bradford gets asked at such events is in regard to supplements.

“It’s about just being an advocate for them, and helping to answer their questions in a relaxed environment,” Bradford said. “Through programs like this, it has been very positive.”

Bradford encouraged everyone to store their drugs in a dry and cool area of the house as opposed to the bathroom pill cabinet.

According to Bradford, there could not be a worse possible place to store pills, because the drastic temperature change and moisture can play a role in damaging medication.

Having an up-to-date list of all current prescriptions and using only one pharmacy are important steps to limit the risk of side effects from medicine, Bradford said.