Are you taking your medicine the right way?

You go to the doctor and get a prescription, but that medicine can't help you if you don't take as directed.

Dr. John Swarztberg at the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter tells me this is a serious problem that may kill more than 100,000 people each year in this country.

About half the medications for chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, are not taken correctly. People skip doses or take fewer pills than needed.

"If we don't take the pills, our blood pressure is going to go back up and bouncing up and down with our blood pressure is very bad on our blood vessels," Swarztberg says. "It puts us at risk for heart attacks and strokes."

Dr. Swartzberg says a lot of people stop taking their antibiotics once they start to feel better. Do that and the infection can come back.

"And even worse, the infection may come back and the bugs may now be resistant to the antibiotic you're taking."

Dr. Swartzberg says you should always take the full dose of antibiotics, according to directed. If you experience any problems, don't stop; call your doctor right away.

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Take Your Medicine the Right Way