21 April 2013

Overdone it? Get a Good Dose Quality Rx-Info!

Last night I was invited to re-discover my inner child at a friend's birthday party hosted at an indoor trampoline park.  This confirmed three things:
  1. Trampolines are amazing fun
  2. Trampolines are amazing, high-intensity, exercise
  3. A group of people my age are amazing-ly not built to bounce like we once were
This last point was summed up perfectly while standing in line for the foam pit where you literally bounce off a trampoline into large pieces of foam meant to break your fall. While a group of us 'adults' were congratulating one of our own with a hearty "Amazing" as he hobbled slowly out of the pit clutching his lower back, one young girl about 10 years-old chimed in with a snarky heckle "What amazing? I didn't see anything amazing", then quickly followed it up by a perfect front double twist flip (or something of the sort) into the pit herself!

Finally, if we weren't already acutely aware of our aging bodies surrounded by such young fearless springy things, our evening ended at the pub with at least one complaint per person about "I'm going to feel that tomorrow" or "I think I pulled something". If someone had pulled out a bottle of pain-killers they would have assuredly surpassed the birthday girl in popularity.

Which brings me to the topic of painkillers: those wonderful miracles of modern medicine that allow your body to feel just as youthful as your inner self may be telling you.  It also brings me to one last side-story before I get to the real point.

A few weeks ago I was in a hurry and having discovered my empty bottle of pain-killers and having a particularly bad case of 'computer-back' (a standard occupational hazard of Librarians these days) I quickly purchased some from the pharmacy and gulped down two before running off to my all-day meetings.  Though a temporary fix, it seemed my curse that day to have no long-term relief so I gulped back two more, and so on as the day continued.  Come evening, my pain finally seemed to have subsided, but I noticed I was feeling rather unwell - emptying my bag on the table I discovered that I had been taking 'extra-strength' tablets all day in a dosage I had just assumed was 'regular strength'! Long-story short, after chiding my carelessness, I spent the evening feeling very unwell and unsure whether I should be more worried about my new symptoms.

Lucky for me (and my group of party-friends) there's a tool called RxList: The Internet Drug Index that compiles drug information (brand and generic) for both practitioners and consumers!  Best part?  It's free and available online.  According to their site:
"RxList continuously reviews and updates the site with articles written by pharmacists and physicians and data provided by credible and reliable sources like the FDA and First Data Bank, Inc. to ensure the most accurate and beneficial information is provided."
It's a great tool to look up drugs from A-Z, identify pills and tablets that may have escaped their labelled bottle and look up things like symptoms and side effects.  In the case of my carelessness, I was able to find out that I had reached my maximum dosage for that particular day, but thankfully not too much past so I decided to wait out the effects of my larger-than-normal dose.*

Although it's always good to be careful and cautious about medications, there are times (like a post-trampoline birthday party) where they are legitimately needed.  RxList is a tool that's there anytime and for health practitioner and layman alike to find out exactly what that little magic tablet can do for you, and more importantly, what it can do to you.

*Please note that my story/decision (and the RxList site) is not medical advice, diagnosis or treatment advice of any form and does not replace consulting a doctor.