As a former pharmaceutical sales rep I probably know more about the prescription drug industry than I care to know. As a mom I definitely have way more experience with prescription drugs than I care to have. Junior and Kid Flash have been on more medications than “I can shake a stick at” thanks to allergies, asthma, constipation, eczema and the list goes on. As a kid, while I may suffered from my own share of common childhood ailments, I can assure you I never took as many meds as my kids have taken in their short lives. Even as an adult I don’t think I’ve taken as many meds for as long as my kids have, for sure.
In our society millions of dollars have been spent on campaigns to teach and encourage children and teens to “Just Say No” to drugs. But, what about parents? I will be the first to admit that I don’t have any problems popping a couple of Ibuprofen for a throbbing headache, however there are two conditions: (1) It has to be early in the day with sleep not being an option or (2) it has to be pretty much unbearable. I can be a wuss when it comes to taking meds. I find it difficult to swallow pills and liquids are often disgusting. So, I find it quite interesting that our children are prescribed copious amounts of drugs at what seems to be an alarmingly high rate. I don’t have anything against prescription drugs. In many cases they are necessary, however, as parents we need to be prepared to ask the following questions when our child’s physician suggests any prescription medication:
1. What are the alternatives to prescription meds for this condition/illness?
2. Is this medication absolutely necessary?
3. If so, what are the potential side effects?
4. If the medication is being prescribed for a chronic condition, what are the long term effects?
5. What is the treatment plan? In other words, what are your plans to get my child off this medication?
Junior and Kid Flash had follow up doctor’s appointments with their Asthma & Allergy Specialist today and my whole goal was to minimize the potential for new meds being started and finding out the plan to wean them off current long-term meds. I suceeded. It is important to note that the long term effects of newer meds are often not known until they have been on the market for 10-20 years. So, imagine a 5 or 6 year old being started on a med and kept on it for years how much potential damage can be done over time. That is not a risk I am willing to take with my children.
Our society has gotten to the point where we pop pills for every little ailment without regard for the potential short-term or long-term consequences. And we wonder why there is such a problem with prescription drug abuse in our society. Moving forward, I am determined (along with my husband) to do my best to limit my kids’ exposure to prescription drugs. I have even come to realize that many of the old school remedies are still quite effective. Don’t believe me? Just ask Grandma.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. This blog post is MY opinion, based on MY experiences. Please speak with your child’s physician before stopping (or starting) any medications.
Until next time-
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5 NIV)