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The Stillwater Medical Center Foundation held a public meeting Friday at 12 p.m. at the Stillwater Public Library.

The subject of Friday’s meeting was “understanding your pain medications”. Two local pharmacologists, Cliff Herr and David Dennis, spoke to an estimated 75 audience members for an hour about pain medications.

            Friday’s meeting is part of the Stillwater Medical Center Foundation’s “First Friday.” The first Friday of every month, between September and May, the Stillwater Medical Foundation hosts a meeting to help introduce new physicians and raise medical awareness of the public and their customers.

“People need to know they have a responsibility to know their medications, their doses and why they are taking them,” Herr said. “They also need to be aware of the side effects of the medications.”

Herr said the most common mistakes people who are prescribed pain medications make, is taking the medications on an empty stomach and not taking the medications as they are prescribed.

Bill Petermann and his wife, Ladonna, went to the meeting to find out information about the prescription medications they are on.

“I don’t spend much time with the doctor,” Bill Petermann said. “I tell the doctor I have a pain, he writes me a prescription and doesn’t tell me anything about it.”

Ladonna Petermann has had problems with medications prescribed by the doctor. One doctor prescribed Ladonna with a medication that affected her memory and caused drowsiness. When she went to the hospital for a severe kidney infection, the medication made it hard for her to communicate with the hospital staff.

Herr and Davis recommend that people, who take pain medications, should keep a list of the medications they are taking. The list should include their medications, the doses and times they take the medications, and any allergies.

Anytime a person visits a doctor or the hospital, they should take the list with them. It is important to always keep your medication list up to date.

Herr and Davis talked about how prescription medications are categorized and the potential for abuse with each category.

The lower the category number, the greater the potential is for abuse. For example, CII medications have the greatest potential for abuse.

Herr also talked about the importance of keeping pain medications secure. He said you never know who might want it.

Herr told a story about one family who had a family member with terminal cancer.  Herr sent the family an analgesic, such as morphine. Another family member injected needles into the tubes that carried the morphine and then withdraw some morphine.

Herr and Davis recommend that people use as few pharmacies as possible. The more pharmacies a person uses the harder it is for the pharmacists to catch any problems that arise.

Ladonna Petermann said that she was taking the same drug twice, but her pharmacy noticed the mistake when she had her medications refilled.


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