Adage proves false for medication Best advice is to follow doctor’s orders

Adage proves false for medication Best advice is to follow doctor’s orders


ATLANTA— For the most part, folk wisdom serves us well. “A stitch in time saves nine,” really will save us from having to do a major sewing job later. “The early bird” does catch that elusive worm. And we all have learned, much to our chagrin, that “haste makes waste.”

But while one adage is the best thing for your bottom line, “saving for a rainy day” can be harmful when this maxim is applied to medicine, particularly allergy medicine.

“Sometimes people, particularly uninformed people, save their medicine until a day when they feel really bad,” says Dr. Yvonne M. Johnson, director of medical affairs for Novartis Ophthalmics, maker of Zaditorä (ketotifen fumarate ophthalmic solution, 0.025 percent). “They may have a good day and think, ‘I don’t need my medicine today.’ But some medications need to be taken on a regular basis to be effective. This starting and stopping can hamper the efficacy of your medication. You can’t ‘save up’ for a rainy day.

“Antihistamines and other allergy medications should be taken on a regular basis per your doctor’s orders,” says Johnson. These medications are formulated to provide rapid and prolonged relief. Treatment should be tailored for specific types of patients — acute or chronic.

“When it comes to taking medication, you should always stick to your doctor’s orders,” she says. “Some medications must be taken with food or with milk. Others must be taken at certain times of the day. Often, how a medication is applied is as important as what the medication is.”

Zaditor, an eye drop that provides fast relief of itchy eyes in patients suffering from allergies, is taken one drop in each eye twice a day, says Johnson. One drop works for up to 12 hours. Zaditor relieves and prevents itching due to allergic conjunctivitis.

“Allergic conjunctivitis, or red, itchy, and swollen eyes, is often associated with other allergic symptoms such as hay fever,” she says. “Doctors often prescribe medication for hay fever that should be taken on a regular basis. However, sometimes only the eyes are affected, and products like Zaditor should be used as long as symptoms persist. But the important thing to remember is to take your medication according to directions and your doctor’s advice.”

Background on Novartis Ophthalmics

With worldwide headquarters in Bulach, Switzerland, Novartis Ophthalmics is a global leader in research, development and manufacturing of leading ophthalmic pharmaceuticals that assist in the treatment of glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, eye inflammation, ocular allergies and other diseases and disorders of the eye. Novartis Ophthalmics products are available in more than 110 different countries. The North American headquarters is based in Atlanta, Ga. Novartis Ophthalmics has production sites in Switzerland, France and Canada. For more information, please go to the Web site

Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS) is a world leader in pharmaceuticals and consumer

health. In 2001, the Group’s businesses achieved sales of CHF $32.0 billion

(USD $19.1 billion) and a net income of CHF 7.0 billion (USD $4.2 billion).

The Group invested approximately CHF $4.2 billion (USD $2.5 billion) in R&D.

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ about

74,000 people and operate in more than 140 countries around the world. For

further information, please consult

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!