Dangers of buying medications online

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

"If they're sick enough that they feel they need  prescription medication which is what Tamiflu is, then they're sick enough to be evaluated by their provider," said Dr. Debbie Persell.

Some people are turning to the Internet instead of their health care provider for medicine. Dr. Debbie Persell at ASUu's College of Nursing and Health Professions says you could be putting your health at risk by doing that.

"There's no guarantee that the medicine that you think you've purchased is what actually came to you at your mailbox at home," said Persell.

The H1N1 vaccine is not available online and Tamiflu is by prescription only.  Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniels' office issued a consumer alert to inform Arkansans of the risks of buying H1N1 treatments over the Internet.

"If your doctor prescribes these drugs, really the way to do it is to get them from a properly licensed pharmacy," said Arkansas Attorney General's Office Spokesman, Gabe Holmstrom.

The attorney general's office says there are additional risks when buying medicines online including: the drugs could be contaminated with ingredients that could cause severe problems if ingested; the drugs could react with other medicines that you are taking; and the drugs, if they do in fact contain the active ingredient for treating H1N1, could contain too little or too much to properly treat the disease.

"Go to your doctor and if he gives you a prescription then take it to a licensed pharmacist, and that way there is no question that what you're getting will be safe," said Holmstrom.

Dr. Debbie Persell says your primary health care provider should always be your first line of defense when you begin to battle any illness.

"You are after all their patient and you have that relationship  with them.  They know your medical history," said Persell.

For more information you can visit the Arkansas Health Department website by clicking on the link associated with this story.

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