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This month we have a special guest columnist, Caitlin Hempton. Caitlin is a student at Oakland University in their Wellness, Health Promotion, & Injury Prevention program who is interning with PVM.

This year on October 21st the National Community Pharmacists Association, along with their sponsor Consumer Reports, will be rolling out a brand-new wellness holiday, National Check Your Meds Day.  On this day consumers are encouraged to bring their medications and supplements to their local pharmacies for “brown bag” medication reviews.

This campaign comes at a perfect time for Americans.  According to a survey done in April 2017 by Consumer Reports, more than half of the American adult population takes a prescription medication daily.  More importantly however, those individuals who are taking prescription medications are prescribed on average not just one, but four unique medications.  While many prescription medications are lifesaving, there are potential complications for taking multiple medications.  These complications include upset stomachs, headaches, postural hypotension, dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, and confusion.

The best way to protect yourself from medication complications is to have an honest conversation with your pharmacist about what you are taking.  If you want to take part in National Check Your Meds Day, on October 21st gather all of the medications and supplement bottles you take, prescription or otherwise, put them in a bag or container and head to your local pharmacy.  Ask to speak with the pharmacist for a medication review and give the pharmacist your bag of medications.

If you can’t make it out on October 21st don’t worry, this is a service that most major pharmacies will perform any day.