Julie Catalano

The Women's Pharmacy: An Essential Guide to What Women Should Know About Prescription Drugs

Synopsis:

With two-thirds of the more than 2.4 billion prescriptions a year written for women, there’s an urgent need for a clear, concise resource to help sort through the confusing – and often contradictory – bombardment of information and advertising for the drugs we take. This authoritative guide provides an essential list of the drugs used exclusively by women (fertility drugs, contraceptives, breast cancer drugs, estrogens) plus drugs for cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, depression, high cholesterol, diabetes, and other health problems that affect women in greater numbers than men. It features:

200 prescription drug profiles covering more than 300 drugs

Each drug’s brand name, generic name, classification, dosage, side effects, drug and food/​alcohol interactions, and pregnancy/​nursing risks

New research on which drugs affect women differently than men

Questions to ask the pharmacist – before you take the drug

Special warnings for seniors

Plus a special women’s resource directory for health-related issues


Excerpt: “You and Your Pharmacist: Keeping Track”

Women have no shortage of lists, files, and other paperwork in our lives, but the following may prove lifesaving. They will certainly help you keep an organized account of your drug therapy and can give you, your doctor, and your pharmacist an overall look at your total drug management program:

Keep a medication journal or diary. It doesn’t have to be complicated or sophisticated. Choose a method that fits your schedule and lifestyle, which can mean simply jotting down the names of the medications you took that day, to a detailed account of drugs, dosages, times taken, and side effects.

If you take multiple medications, or are on them for an extended period of time, keeping a record can prove indispensable. Every time you take a medication, write down the name, dosage, and the time. This is especially important when taking more than one drug day after day, as it’s easy to become confused. Note any side effects or symptoms whether you think they’re drug related or not. Over time, you may see a pattern emerge that can prove useful in adjusting medications or dosages.

Drug recordkeeping is essential for elderly women, women with chronic illnesses, and women seeing numerous doctors, all of whom run an increased risk of overmedication, oversedation, and even “doubling up” (taking both the generic and the brand name forms of a drug). If a doctor, pharmacist, or other health care professional sees a patient’s “grocery list” of drugs, they may be alerted to the possibility of overmedication.

Keep at least three copies of a list with the following information: prescription drugs and the name of the prescribing health care professional; all nonprescription medications; and vitamins, herbal remedies, and dietary supplements. Keep one copy at home, carry one copy with you (with a medical ID tag if you have a chronic condition or are using a drug that has potentially serious interactions), and give one copy to a trusted family member. Update it regularly and give each of your health care providers a copy. Never assume that all of your doctors know what you are taking. They don’t – unless you tell them.

Save the package insert that comes with each drug, even if you think you’ll never wade through all of that frustrating, flea-size type. Thankfully, some print ads now feature patient information in a convenient question-and-answer format, but it may not have the complete prescribing information that is on the package insert.

"This book is great because it has so many things I've never seen in drug reference books, lists of medical conditions and related medications, a list of resources, questions to ask your doctor and your pharmacist. I highly recommend The Women’s Pharmacy."
--Dearest, owner, power-surge.com

Selected Works

Nonfiction
Young adult nonfiction
The history of humanity’s relationship to the animal world
The contributions of a people; "Informative and useful for social-studies classes"
--School Library Journal