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Have a question about your health?

Ask the Pharmacist

“Do I need to finish my medication if I already feel better?”

“How soon can I start exercising after having surgery?”

“Do I really need to take that pill on an empty stomach?”

Your Express Scripts Canada pharmacist is a healthcare professional with a wealth of knowledge on a wide range of health topics. If you have a question about your health or medication, chances are, your Express Scripts Canada pharmacist knows the answer.

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Note: We welcome general questions or topics which may be of interest to you, but any questions specific to your health or medications will not be answered and should be directed to your pharmacist or other healthcare professional.

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Why is it so bad to take someone else’s medication?

Answer from Express Scripts Canada Pharmacist, Alan Strashok:

This is a common question, and it may be tempting to share medications, especially if you have the same condition. But there are some very good reasons why particular drugs are prescribed for a specific individual, and why it’s never OK to take someone else’s medication.

  • Let’s start with the obvious. Drug names can sound very similar. You may think you know what you’re taking, but it may be something else entirely. Even if it is the same drug, it may be a different strength.
  • The label on the bottle may not be what’s in the bottle.
  • You may be allergic, or the drug may have a negative reaction with something else you’re taking.
  • If you have a bad reaction, no one will know what you took.
  • Many drugs need to build up gradually in your system. Taking a full dose right away may be dangerous
  • And finally, if you DO take someone else’s medication, they may run out earlier than expected and have a dangerous gap in their treatment.

There are other reasons not to take a ANYTHING that wasn’t prescribed to you. But the main reason is that doctors take great care in considering your overall health and history when prescribing. Only take medication prescribed to you and read the information provided by your pharmacist.

Thanks for your question. Best of luck.

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Disclaimer: The information provided is not a substitute for medical or professional advice, judgment, diagnosis or treatment or a recommendation or endorsement for any health care provider, product, procedure, service or other information that may be mentioned. Reliance on any information is solely at the user’s own risk. Consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment of your medical condition. In no event will Express Scripts Canada be liable for any loss or damages of any kind resulting from user’s access to or use of the information on this web site or use of any information contained in linked web sites.
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