Ask a doctor, “Can I ever take someone else's prescription medications?”

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Most of us have asked a friend or family member for something at some point over-the-counter medications to treat headaches or stomach upset, as the dosage and directions are fairly universal.

But is the same protocol appropriate when it comes to taking someone else's prescription medications?

The resounding answer from doctors is an emphatic 'no'.

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There are specific reasons why.

“Taking someone else's prescription medications can be very harmful,” LaTasha Perkins, MD, a family physician at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC, told Fox News Digital.

Doctors agreed that sharing prescription medications with others is a bad idea. (iStock)

“You just have to take your own medicine and not someone else's because there's so much involved.”

Numerous considerations come into play when prescribing medications to a patient, Perkins said health statusmedical history and blood tests – which can vary completely from person to person.

Even if you are taking the same medication as someone else, the other person may be taking a different dose of it, the doctor noted.

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“Many medications also look and sound the same, so you should take what is specifically prescribed for you,” she warned.

Prescription drugs

There are numerous factors that play a role in prescribing medications to a patient, including: health statusmedical history and blood tests, according to doctors. (iStock)

Drug interactions are another problem.

“If you are taking vitamins or other medications that may interact with a prescription drug, that should be taken into account when tailoring your prescription,” Perkins said.

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Allergies are another important consideration, the doctor warned, as some have people are allergic to the additives in medicines.

“There is a reason why the drug is prescribed, because it is personalized for each individual based on a variety of medications health factors” said Perkins.

Take antibiotics

The consequences of sharing prescription drugs – which is never a good idea – can range from severe allergic reactions to drug interactions and overdose, a doctor has warned. (iStock)

Chad Weston, MD, a physician at Novant Health Oceanside Family Medicine & Convenient Care – Brunswick in Shallotte, North Carolina, agreed that taking a medication prescribed to another individual, even for seemingly similar symptoms, can be harmful and may have unintended consequences.

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“These consequences range from severe allergic reactions to drug interactions and overdose, causing damage to organs such as the liver and kidneys,” he said in an interview with Fox News Digital.

Instead of seeking symptom relief by taking someone else's medications, you should see a doctor to get an accurate medical diagnosis and prescription, Weston advised.

doctor with patient

Rather than seeking symptom relief by taking someone else's medications, see a doctor for an accurate medical diagnosis and prescription, a doctor advised. (iStock)

In the event that you are traveling and do not have your medicine with you, Perkins said it is best to call your doctor.

“If you don't have your medicine, we can take it to a pharmacy wherever you are,” she said.

For more health articles, visit www.foxnews/health

'That's why it's so important to have one GP,” she said.

“Having a relationship with your doctor can help you navigate situations like these.”

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