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Fitness

Prescription for Danger: 7 Harmful Shortcuts

You're busy. We get it. But cutting corners in an effort to do more in less time may do more harm than good. Here, seven common shortcuts that shortchange your health.
pills You depend on the drive-through.

Nope, not the fast-food kind. Drive-through pharmacies are convenient, but if you hit one every time you get an Rx filled, you lose the opportunity to talk to a pharmacist about side effects, generic options, and what to do if you miss a dose. Plus you may be at a higher risk for a mix-up: The distractions associated with window service contribute to about six errors per every 10,000 prescriptions dispensed annually, according to a recent study. That works out to more than two million medication mistakes a year. "Always check your prescription at the pharmacy, especially if you're using a drive-through," says lead study author Sheryl Szeinbach, PhD, a professor at Ohio State University College of Pharmacy. Verify the medication name, dosage, and description -- for instance, "blue-and-white oblong capsules" -- as well as your name and address. Short on time? Use this rule of thumb from Szeinbach: "If you have questions about interactions, side effects, dosing, or insurance, or it's a new prescription, skip the drive-through."

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