"Rarely: heart attack." For headache pills? Should I take it at all? Package inserts should help the patient – and often get distracted or overwhelmed. Experts therefore advise: If you are in doubt, ask for it.
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Alternative reading: If you have any questions about medication, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Photo: Benjamin Nolte / dpa-tmn
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Fear mongers? Many of the side effects that are on the hose are troublesome for many patients. Photo: Franziska Gabbert / dpa-tmn
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Heavy Food: Reading a party is usually not a leaflet on a drug. Christin Klose / dpa-tmn Photo: Christin Klose
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Kai-Peter Siemsen is president of Apothekerkammer Hamburg. Photo: Apothekerkammer Hamburg / dpa-tmn
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Rose Schraitle is the head of the Department of Drugs and Drugs Safety at the Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (BAH). Photo: Bettina Volke / BAH / dpa-tmn
Hamburg / Berlin (dpa / tmn) – "Read the leaflet and ask your doctor or pharmacist." This advice has probably been heard in life as often as it is ignored.
Talking to a doctor or pharmacist may be helpful. But a leaflet with many drugs often has more books of mystery than easy reading.
In the end, the note answers many important questions: Who can take the medicine when and how often? What side effects may occur? However, many of these information are simply not reachable to the recipient, says Kai-Peter Siemsen, president of Apothekerkammer Hamburg. "I suspect nine out of ten patients do not read the flyer."
Manufacturers want to get legal protection
Little writing, theatrical sentences, technical terms: "The leaflets in the present form are often overwhelmed by patients," says Ingrid Dänschel from the board of the German Medical Association. The reason for this is an attempt by the manufacturer to legally secure.
In fact, there are many regulations that pharmaceutical companies must follow when writing leaflets. "It is prescribed by law, what must be in leaflets," Rose Schraitle of the Federal Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (BAH) said. "Information must be written in German, and the font must be easy to read." Also, the order of information is provided to help patients find their way faster.
Consumers and patients should pay attention to at least some of the information in the leaflets, says pharmacist Siemsen. Even if it's hard. "It's important to have a contraindicated leaf, so they can not take the medicine."
In addition, directions for swallowing. Even there is a need for an explanation: "On an empty stomach" means that patients did not need to eat four hours any more and only drink water, as the research-based pharmaceutical companies association explains. "Eating lots of liquids" refers to cold or lukewarm water, not hot or caffeinated water.
Intake instructions also indicate the rhythm where patients need to take as much medicine. For antibiotics, for example, these indications are crucial. "You should not just take forgotten medicines, but first ask your doctor or pharmacist," Siemsen says.
They can also help if there are any questions about side effects – this is a point that often makes the bulk of the leaflet, especially in older medicines. Because manufacturers are obliged to list all the side effects of the drug ever seen, says BAH Schraitle. "Even if they are suspected of being a drug." Of course, sometimes the result is dramatically read.
Attention to interactions
Siemse recommends that in such cases be aware of the likelihood of side effects – as it is also in the hose. For example, "very common" means that a side effect occurred in one of ten people. If it was "very rare," it was just one in ten thousand.
It's getting a bit harder with interactions. Because they are often barely tolerant to patients. "When it comes to drugs, it happens quickly that a family physician has prescribed what, then a specialist, and everyone does not know anything about each other," says Siemsen. "That's why it's so important that there is a family doctor who keeps the examination."
He also has to know the medications the patient buys and takes on their own, says family doctor Dänschel. Because they may also have side effects or interactions. "Even a good flyer does not encourage the need for advice."
Update: Wednesday, July 3, 2019 at 04:30