Medical Office Pharmacology: Review For Medical Assistant Students and Professionals
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Safety Alerts!
For medical assistants who need to brush up on certain areas in pharmacology as it applies to a medical office.
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Safety Alerts!

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 Safety Alerts!...
The need for trained medical assistants remains at an all-time high! At any given moment thousands of job offers for medical assistants and other healthcare professionals open and close! Most require knowledge of certain medical office procedures and basic principles of pharmacology.

Safety Alerts!
Use Caution with Pain Relievers
(NAPS) -- Pain relievers, when used correctly, are safe and effective. Millions of people use these medicines everyday. Not using them according to the label directions can have serious consequences.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants you to benefit from your medicines and not be hurt by them. You should know the active ingredients and directions of all your medicines before you use them.

Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines list all their active ingredients on the package.
For prescription drugs, the leaflet that comes with your prescription lists the active
ingredients contained in the medicine. Many OTC medicines sold for different uses
have the same active ingredient. Also, active ingredients in OTC medicines can be
ingredients in prescription medicines. For example, a cold-and-cough remedy may
have the same active ingredient as a headache remedy or a prescription pain reliever.

There are basically two types of OTC pain relievers. Some contain acetaminophen and others contain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These medicines are used to relieve the minor aches and pains associated with:
menstrual cramps
These medicines are also used to treat migraine headaches, and to reduce fever.
Acetaminophen is a very common pain reliever and fever reducer. Taking too much of this active ingredient can lead to liver damage. The risk for liver damage may be increased if you drink three or more alcoholic drinks while using acetaminophen-containing medicines.

NSAIDs are common pain relievers and fever reducers. Examples of OTC NSAIDs are aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, and ketoprofen. There are some factors that can increase your risk for stomach bleeding:
if you are over 60
taking prescription blood thinners
have previous stomach ulcers
other bleeding problems
If you have any of these factors, you should talk to your Doctor before using NSAIDS.

NSAIDs can also cause reversible damage to the kidneys. The risk of kidney damage may increase in:
people who are over 60
people who have high blood pressure, heart disease or pre-existing kidney disease
people who are taking a diuretic

The FDA recommends that you talk with your healthcare professional if you have questions about using an OTC medicine before using it in combination with other medicines -- either OTC or prescription medicine.
You can learn more about what medicines are right for you by reading the label carefully and talking to your healthcare professional or pharmacist.

For more information, visit or call 1-888-INFOFDA.
Date created: January 22, 2004


To report illegal prescription drug sales and/or rogue pharmacies operating on the Internet call the anonymous Pharmaceutical Drug Abuse Hotline: 1-877-RxAbuse (1-877-792-2873).
More info at: DEA Website
Buying drugs online may be illegal!
Federal law prohibits buying controlled substances such as narcotic pain relievers (e.g., OxyContin®, Vicodin ®), sedatives (e.g., Valium®, Xanax®, Ambien®), stimulants (e.g., phentermine, phendimetrazine, Adderall®, Ritalin®) and anabolic steroids (e.g., Winstrol®, Equipoise®) without a valid prescription from a doctor. This means there must be a bonafide doctor-patient relationship, which by most state laws requires a physical examination to receive a prescription. Prescriptions written by "cyber doctors" relying on online questionnaires are not legitimate under the law.

Buying controlled substances online without a valid prescription may be punishable by imprisonment under Federal law and it is a felony to import drugs into the United States and ship to a non-DEA registrant.

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