Medication Management Specialist

Firas Zakaria, MD

Board-Certified Internist located in Palos Heights, IL

One benefit of seeing an internal medicine specialist as a primary care physician is having a medication expert on your team. Dr. Firas Zakaria is a well-respected internal medicine physician in Palos Heights, Illinois. He’s well versed in medication management and has extensive experience in prescribing the best medication in the correct dose at the right time. He’s also highly skilled in treating patients with multiple medical concerns who are taking numerous medications. Call today to make an appointment for your medication review and to get established with Dr. Zakaria, or try his convenient online scheduling service.

Medication Management Q & A

What is Medication Management?

Medication management is used by doctors to ensure that you’re receiving the best treatment outcomes from the prescription medications and supplements you may be taking.

To accomplish this goal, Dr. Zakaria:

  • Carefully reviews all the medications, supplements, and herbal products you regularly take to identify possible interactions or side effects
  • Considers whether the medicines you currently take are the most beneficial for your overall health and treatment of your medical conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, and other long-term issues
  • Monitors for changes in your health and makes adjustments in your prescription medications when necessary
  • Provides detailed information about the medications and supplements you take and helps you understand the importance of taking all of your medications as prescribed

Why is it Important to Know Which Supplements I’m Taking?

Certain herbal supplements may increase the effects of your prescription medications. For instance, combining St. John's wort with some antidepressants can cause a potentially life-threatening increase of serotonin, the brain chemical targeted by antidepressants.

While you may find it helpful for treating mild depression, premenstrual symptoms, and other issues, St. John’s wort also has potential side effects, including:

  • Stomachache
  • Hives or other skin rashes
  • Fatigue
  • Restlessness
  • Headaches  

Aspirin, vitamin E, and the prescription medication warfarin can each thin your blood. Taking any of these products together increases your risk of internal bleeding or stroke.

When you provide Dr. Zakaria with a complete list of medications, vitamins, and supplements you take regularly, it helps him determine the best medication plan for your circumstances. He may ask you stop taking a supplement or add one to your daily routine before you begin a particular prescription medication.

What if I Want to Reduce the Number of Medications I Take?

Depending on your overall health and the reasons for the medications you take, Dr. Zakaria can help formulate a plan that provides the most benefit while streamlining your medication list wherever possible. This is often very effective for seniors who are sometimes very sensitive to medication interactions and side effects.

Drug interactions and side effects can be mistaken for chronic illness. This is especially true when you’re not sure what medications you take and why. As your primary care physician, Dr. Zakaria reviews your medication list regularly and helps prevent mistakes from occurring.