Q&A

Must-Have Medical Screenings!

When you should get them, and how to find the best drug prices.

Must-Have-Medical-Screening

Staying healthy is job one! Here, according to Dr. Holly Phillips, Medical Expert for RxSaver by RetailMeNot, are the top screenings that should be on your radar, tips on how to manage the cost of meds, and more!

Q: At what age should I start doing yearly screenings?

A: Many different screening exams are available, and the frequency and age at which you should start them depending several factors, including your health history as well as family history. Here are some tests and general guidelines.

FOR MEN AND WOMEN:

-Body mass index — yearly starting at 18

-Blood pressure — yearly starting at 18

-Cholesterol — regularly starting between 30 and 35 (earlier if concerns)

-Blood sugar — regularly starting at 40 (earlier if concerns)

-Colonoscopy — starting at 50 (variance in frequency and age of onset)

-Aortic ultrasound — once between 65 and 75 (earlier if concerns)

-STD screen — yearly depending on sexual activity

FOR WOMEN:

-Pap smear — every three years starting at 21

-Mammogram — every two years starting at 40 (earlier if concerns)

-Bone density — starting between 60 and 65 (earlier if concerns)

FOR MEN:

-Testicular — yearly starting at 18

-Prostate — year starting at 50 (earlier if concerns)

Q: How can I find the best price on my prescription medication?

A: If you want to know the cost of your prescription before you buy, check out RxSaver, a website and app that helps you get the best price on your medication. RxSaver puts control back in you hands and lets you compare prices at pharmacies near you to make sure you’re getting the best price available — whether you have insurance or not! Simply enter a drug name to compare prices then choose the best price and location that is most convenient for you to save up to 80 percent.

Q: What if I’m prescribed a medicine and I don’t like the side effects? How long does it take for side effects to subside?

A: All medications have both effects and side effects. Side effects vary widely from person to person and are, of course, based on each different medication. In certain cases, side effects are expected and wane over time. For example, certain antidepressant medications cause fatigue when first started, which dissipates over the course of several weeks. Other side effects are sudden and considered medical emergencies, such as an anaphylactic allergic reaction to antibiotics.

Q: Are there any interactions between prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications?

A: Yes, interactions between prescription and over-the-counter medications are frequent and can be dangerous. For example, taking certain types of OTC acid-reflux medications can block the effectiveness of prescription antibiotics. Be sure to discuss all medications you are taking with your doctor, including OTC and herbal remedies.

Dr. Holly Phillips, MD, is a board-certified general internist in private practice in Manhattan, and a television and print medical journalist. In practice, she addresses a wide range of internal medicine conditions, with a focus on preventive women’s health. She’s an active member of the American Medical Association, the American College of Physicians and the Independent Doctors of New York.

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