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Cover Story
Getting with the program

Case Study
The joy of living returns

Healthy Trucking

John Kelley, M.D.
Preventing flu

Mario Ojeda Jr
On music

Joseph Yao, M.D.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

Marie Rodriguez
Mind, Body and Spirit

Highway Angels
Driver helps fellow driver survive heart attack

Wheels of Justice
Driver is key to carrier success in CSA

Salena Lettera
Knowledge is the best medicine

Industry News

It's news to me!


Publisher's Desk
Hypertension Awareness Month

Murphy's World
Mistakes make great memories

Say What?
What's the best and worst part of your job?


Salena Lettera

Knowledge is the best medicine

According to the 2000 census, the average age of a truck driver is 43.1 years.  Since I'm pretty sure none of us can punch “Fountain of Youth” into our GPS and effortlessly arrive there, the undeniable reality is that we will age. And when we do, some of us may need to make prescription medication part of our daily lives. I'm not talking about your average “take two and call me in the morning” kind, to get over a flu bug or the occasional pulled muscle; I'm talking about the “take two four times a day/only with food/ upon waking/before bedtime/when the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars” kind.

Arm yourself with information

Four out of five older adults live with one or more chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis or cancer. Drug therapy is often a part of managing these conditions, so increased knowledge works to your benefit. Did you know that grapefruit juice can interfere with the effectiveness of Lipitor, a statin used to treat high cholesterol, increasing the risk of potentially serious side effects? Or, if you happen to be taking an anti-clotting drug like Coumadin, green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach that contain Vitamin K can interfere with the blood-thinning effects of the drug and make it less effective?  It's your responsibility to educate yourself about what you're taking, the pro-per way to take it, what the drug interactions may be, what activities you should avoid, how to prevent a situation that may cause adverse or harmful side effects and what foods and drinks you should eliminate when taking certain medications. 

Get and give answers

The best offense for using your medicines safely and appropriately is to be well informed with good, reliable information.  Never hesitate to ask questions of your doctor, health care provider or pharmacist and learn as much as you can about the medications you take. It's also important to share information about yourself with your health care providers so they can create the best health care plan for you. It works both ways. Take an active role in your health care!

The 3Rs

Several years ago, the National Council on Patient Information and Education launched “The 3Rs for Safe Medicine Use.” They are as follows:

Risk: Recognize that all medicines (prescription and nonprescription) have risks as well as benefits; and you need to weigh these risks and benefits carefully for every medicine you take.

Respect: Respect the power of medicine and the value of medicines, properly used.

Responsibility: Take responsibility for learning about how to take each medication safely.  Being responsible also means following this important rule: when in doubt, ask first. Your healthcare professional can help you get the facts you need to use medicines correctly.

            The more you know, the more control you have over your life and your health. Find more information regarding safe medicine use at bemedwise.org.
            Follow Selena on Twitter @ SalenaLettera and email her at salenalettera@gmail.com.