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Information about all aspects of finances affected by a serious health condition. Includes income sources such as work, investments, and private and government disability programs, and expenses such as medical bills, and how to deal with financial problems.
Information about all aspects of health care from choosing a doctor and treatment, staying safe in a hospital, to end of life care. Includes how to obtain, choose and maximize health insurance policies.
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Breast Cancer: Post Treatment: 6 Months Plus: Medical Care

Choose, Buy, Store, And Live With Drugs And Supplements Wisely

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  • Before agreeing to take any drug, learn about the risks as well as the benefits.
    • Survivorship A to Z provides questions to ask before agreeing to take any drug. 
  • Do what you can to avoid medical errors
    • Start by obtaining a readable doctor’s prescription. If you can't read it, the odds are that the pharmacist can't either.
    • Check the drug you receive against the prescription and make sure it looks like you expect. Speak up if it doesn't look right or if you have a question.
  • Avoid overmedication
    • Overmedication is all too common. 
    • Ask your doctor if a lower dose will do the same job - particularly for drugs you continue to take over time.
  • Carry a list of your drugs all the time. 
    • Emergencies happen. 
    • Plus the list will be helpful each time you see a doctor or fill a prescription. 
    • Survivorship A to Z provides a form List Of Medications).
  • Have each newly prescribed drug checked for negative interaction with other drugs you are taking . Do not assume that this will happen automatically. 
  • Over-the-counter medications are drugs and have to be treated that way.
    • Just because over-the-counter medications are sold without a prescription does not mean that there is no risk.
  • Take care if you use herbs, vitamins or other supplements.
    • They are not subject to FDA approval. Therefore, there is no guarantee about their safety or effectiveness. 
    • There is not even a guarantee that the same mix of ingredients will be in each bottle – even for bottles from the same manufacturer.
  • Consider price, even if you have health insurance. It may feel like insurance company money is other people's money, but expenses will eventually show up in increased premiums. See: Drugs: How To Save Money When Buying Or Using
  • Do not let price be the sole factor in determining what you want or where to obtain a drug. For example, consider:
    • What happens if you need a refill in an emergency? 
    • Also keep in mind that a pharmacist can be a very important part of your health care team.  
    • If necessary, you may be able to obtain drugs for free or very low cost.
  • Help is available if you cannot afford prescribed drugs.
  • If a health insurer declines to pay for use of a drug because it is "off label" (a use other then the use approved by the FDA), appeal with your doctor's help. Be persistent. Depending on which study you read, between 50 and 75 percent of cancer drugs are prescribed off label.
  • If the current drugs on the market do not satisfy your needs, there may be newer drugs to consider that are still being tested for safety. Access to these drugs is through clinical trials – controlled tests where use of the drug is medically monitored. It is essential that you be fully informed before entering a clinical trial.
  • Live with drugs wisely.
    • Comply with prescribed orders. Non-compliance can be harmful. Time tested tips help if you have difficulty complying.
    • Do not share drugs.
    • Store drugs correctly. For example, in a cool dry place. Nnot in a medicine cabinet in the bathroom.
  • Travel well with your drugs. 
    • Carry a copy of your prescription. 
    • Carry an extra supply in case you get delayed.
    • Keep drugs in their original bottle which has your name on it
  • Stay open. Keep in mind that the decisions you make regarding medical care and treatment may change over time.

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