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 TWINSBURG, Ohio, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- At one time or another, most of us will face some ailment that will require a doctor's treatment and prescription medication. That prescription, however, is only the beginning of your treatment.
 October is "Talk About Prescriptions Month," designated by the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE). Revco Drug Stores joins NCPIE in urging everyone to make proper use of medication a health priority.
 Thousands of deaths and hospitalizations occur each year from improper use of prescription medication. Patients who don't follow instructions for drug use account for more hospital admissions, clinic visits, dosage modifications and health care costs than those who do follow their doctors' orders.
 As many as 85 percent of patients are reluctant to ask questions about their medicines. Speaking up about your prescription medicine could not only save you time and money; it could save your life. The pharmacists at Revco recommend asking your doctor or pharmacist questions about any new prescription. These include:
 -- What is the exact name of the medication I am taking?
 -- Why is it being prescribed for me?
 -- What is it supposed to do?
 -- What is the dosage, frequency and length of time I will need to take this medication?
 -- Will I need to get refills?
 -- Will the medication cause any side effects?
 -- Are there any foods or drinks I should avoid while taking it?
 -- How should I take it -- with meals, water, milk?
 The last two questions are often overlooked by patients, but are important because some foods and beverages can stop or decrease the action of a drug before it gets to the bloodstream. For example, some pills taken with coffee and fruit juices are often destroyed in the stomach from the chemicals in the drinks, and drugs taken with milk may be held in the stomach and never move out into the bloodstream. By consulting your doctor or pharmacist, you can ensure that your medicine is working effectively.
 Once you're completely informed as to why, when and how you're supposed to take your medication, make sure that you take it for exactly the length of time you're supposed to. Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, never discontinue your medication before the appropriate time, even if you are feeling fine. This is especially true in cases of high blood pressure, where there are often no physical symptoms, or bacterial infections, such as strep throat, where symptoms may clear up but can reoccur and even worsen if the medication is not taken for the duration as ordered.
 Taking care with your medicine also means never playing doctor on someone else by letting them use medication prescribed for you. That can be very dangerous because prescription medications take into consideration many different factors, including size and physical makeup. What works for you may be hazardous for someone else.
 Revco pharmacists also remind you to keep your medications up to date. It's always a good practice to discard prescriptions that are more than a year old, as they can lose their effectiveness or even become toxic. If a prescription bottle has a missing or unclear label, don't use the medication. Throw it away. Always flush medicines down the toilet and rinse the containers before discarding them. Store your medicines in child-proof bottles, in a dark, cool, dry place (medicine cabinets aren't always best because they're usually located in warm, steamy bathrooms).
 During "Talk About Prescriptions Month," remember that taking care with prescription medicines is a year-round responsibility. Being sick is never easy, but if you are responsible with your medication, your recovery may be easier than you thought.
 The pharmacists at Revco Drug Stores provide a personalized Patient Advisory Leaflet to help advise consumers on the proper use of the prescribed medication they are receiving. See your local Revco pharmacist for answers to your questions about prescription drug safety. If you'd like to arrange a community presentation on this topic by your Revco pharmacist, write to: Public Relations Dept., Revco Drug Stores, 1925 Enterprise Parkway, Twinsburg, Ohio 44087.
 Revco operates approximately 1,150 retail drug stores in nine contiguous eastern states, filling more than 46 million prescriptions annually. Based in Twinsburg, Ohio, Revco has annual sales of of $2.1 billion.
 -0- 10/01/92
 CONTACT: Anita Fenrich of Revco D.S., Inc., 216-425-9811, ext. 2413 CO: REVCO D.S., INC. IN: REA ST: OH -- CLFNS2 -- X843 10/01/92
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Date:Oct 1, 1992

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