Who knows about drugs??

In talking with my roommates and co-workers I was pleasantly surprised that no one is currently taking any medications other than birth control for the most part. Because many of my peers are not taking anything currently it was hard to assess if they knew about medications. I asked them about some common medications such as aspirin and acetaminophen to get a gauge for how much knowledge they had about OTC medications. As I suspected many of the people I talked to knew when you should take the medications i.e for a headache or fever, but did not know anything else about the medication. They were surprised to hear that both the medications can be overdosed on and can cause problems long term if not taken responsibly. The general consensus I got from those I interviewed is that if the medications are sold OTC they must be safe. It was interesting because being in the medical field we know the far reaching implications and uses of medications like aspirin and I think we often forget that the information we know is not necessarily common knowledge. In my interviews and the follow up discussion I was able to tell my friends and peers about the common uses of several OTC medications and what were possible side effects. My general opinion in reflecting on these discussions is how often people take pills without knowing what they are for, what the safe dose is, what the expected side effects vs adverse reactions could occur etc.

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