RxISK.org is where patients, doctors, and pharmacists can research prescription drugs — and report a ‘side effect’ problem.

Prescription Medication Risk Checklist

Author: RxRISK Medical Team

Drug side effects are now a leading cause of death, disability, and illness. Experts estimate that only 1–10% of ‘serious’ adverse events (those causing hospitalization, disability, or death) are ever reported. Not to mention the millions of "medically mild" adverse drug events that occur each year — ones that compromise a person's concentration, functioning, judgment, and ability to care.

In mental health care, drug side effects are the leading cause of death. Dr. David Healy, RxISK CEO

The medical team at RxISK.org has published a checklist to help patients and their health care professionals assess the risks and benefits of prescription medications. RxISK is an independent website where patients, doctors, and pharmacists can research prescription drugs and easily report a drug side effect. RxISK provides an individualized causality report for drug side effects enabling the health care team to act sooner.

If your government allows it, your doctor prescribed it, and your pharmacist dispensed it, then it must be safe. Right? Not necessarily! This assumption is wrong. People die because of this wrong assumption.

Know your prescription medication risk

The RxISK medical team estimates that, each year, 10,000 people die in Canada, 100,000 die in the United States, and 150,000 die in Europe from taking prescription medications as directed.

Prescription drug side effects are now a leading cause of death, disability, and illness along with cancer, heart disease and stroke. Dr. Dee Mangin, RxISK Chief Medical Officer

Fewer than 5% of "serious" adverse events (those causing hospitalization, disability, or death) are ever reported. The rate of reporting the millions of "medically mild" adverse drug events that occur each year — ones that compromise a person's  functioning, self-confidence, judgment, and even ability to care — is practically non-existent. Little is known about the effects of drugs on our hair, sex and relationships, extreme acts or thoughts, and our skin and nails, because these effects are not considered medically significant and are not tracked.

Some of the known or suspected drug side effects are included in the drug manufacturer's patient information leaflets.  But a review of the over 15.8 million drug side effects reported to the Food and Drug Administration and included in RxISK's databank, show hundreds more not in the leaflets that are linked to prescription drugs.

Dr. Dee Mangin points out that the checklist, together with the RxISK Causality Report and research tools found at RxISK.org, can help both patient and doctor in their discussion.

Prescription Medication Risk Checklist

Patients that are about to start taking any drug have a right to an informed choice. Only then can they weigh the benefits of a prescription drug against potential harms. Those already taking prescription drugs need to be on the lookout for links between any side effects they are experiencing, and to be aware of any potential symptoms as a result of stopping use or changing their dose. Ask your doctor the answers to these 12 questions. They could save your life.

  1. How does this drug work, how much improvement can I expect, and how soon?
  2. If I don't take this drug now, and instead wait for a while, what will happen?
  3. What are the most likely side effects?
  4. Are there any reported rare or serious side effects?
  5. Are there any permanent problems this drug can cause?
  6. If this is a new drug, why can't I take an older drug?
  7. Can I try a lower dose?
  8. What date will we review my use/dose of this drug?
  9. Are there any documented or reported problems occurring as a result of stopping the drug, or any special considerations about stopping or changing dose that I should know about?
  10. Are there any potential interactions with food, my other medical conditions, or my current medications?
  11. Might this drug affect my weight, sleep, hair, skin, nails, mood, sex performance or desire, and my social interactions or relationships? If so, how?
  12. Do I need to stop this drug before I get pregnant?
Download printable form: Prescription Medication Risk Checklist

RxISK tools allow you to research and report prescription drug side effects.

Both you and your doctor can use the free drug research function at RxISK.org to help research and report prescription drug side effects. RxISK provides access to 4.2 million reports on 5.6 million drugs suspected of causing 15.8 million side effects submitted to the United States and RxISK side effects databases. In addition, RxISK includes FDA drug leaflets, "black box" warnings, a European Medicines Agency manufacturer's admitted side effects data set, and the anonymous stories of the experiences of others.

To research and report prescription drug side effects at RxISK.org, first enter the name of a prescription drug. Next you are presented with a Research View information screen where you can do the following:

Help yourself while helping others

Not an just an anecdote by Dr. David Healy.

If you think there is a problem, you're probably right. No one knows drug side effects like the person who is taking a pill. Yet your voice is increasingly being silenced. You and your doctor may have been told there is no evidence linking the treatment you are on to the problems you are experiencing. This is because most data on prescription drugs is owned by the multinational pharmaceutical companies who run almost all clinical drug trials (60% of which are never reported). They simply are not sharing data that may affect their bottom lines. There is a gap in the data that only patients, doctors, and pharmacists can fill.

RxISK helps you research prescription drugs free, but you can do so much more by reporting a drug side effect and adding your anonymized experience to the data on prescription drugs. Please contribute.

Article source: http://wp.rxisk.org/know-your-rx-drug-rxisk/

What to do if you've been injured by a prescription drug or medical device.

Visit Drugwatch.com for comprehensive information about the dangerous side effects and complications from commonly prescribed drugs and often used medical devices. Drug Watch's mission is to educate people about medications they take and the devices that are in their bodies. They provide additional resources to help people evaluate whether they have a legal case due to any life-changing side effects or complications that result from the use of the medication, or the medical device.

Drugwatch.com is updated constantly with new information about research breakthroughs, clinical trials, recalls and warnings from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). By making you aware of the risks of certain medications and medical devices, they give you a better chance for quality of life and survival. Facing serious side effects, a debilitating disease or supporting a family member or friend through a difficult medical situation can be overwhelming. When it comes to learning about medical complications, handling financial arrangements or discovering your legal options, you may not know where to start. Drug Watch Patient Advocates can help. If you or a loved one was harmed because of a drug or device, they can help you navigate the maze of paperwork for filing a legal claim. They can also explain other avenues of financial assistance. And can help you locate specialists in your area.

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