Steps on How to Use Medications Safely ?

  •  Keep a list or inventory of all the medications that you take.  Be sure to include all prescribed drugs, over the counter medications, herbal supplements, home remedies and medical foods.  Share this list with your physician or upon admission to the hospital to prevent complications.
  •     When speaking with your healthcare providers tell them how you actually take your medications, especially if this is different from how they are originally prescribed.
  •     When starting a new medication ask if there are certain foods, drinks, other medicines or activities that you should avoid while taking the drug.
  •     At least once a year take all your medicines with you to your doctor’s appointment so you both have a complete understanding of what each drug does and why you should continue to take it.
  •     Don’t share prescriptions.  Allergic reactions, overdosing and reproductive side effects in young woman are just some of the risks of sharing a prescription from a friend or family member.
  •     Take antibiotics only to treat illnesses caused by bacteria.  Bacterial illnesses include strep throat, tuberculosis and many types of pneumonia.  Taking antibiotics when they are not needed only contributes to the serious problem of antibiotic resistance.
  •     Finish the full course of a prescribed antibiotic.  Stopping the medication when the symptoms reside will also add to antibiotic resistance.  If treatment stops too soon, some bacteria may survive, re-infect.
  •     Speak to your physician before abruptly stopping certain medications.  Hormone therapy, thyroid, blood pressure and heart medications should not be stopped cold turkey.  Doing so could lead to serious side effects or even kill you.
  •     Store all prescription medications in a safe place away from children.
  •     Dispose of medications in a safe manner.  Follow any specific disposal instructions on the drug label or patient information that accompanies the medication. Do not flush prescription drugs down the toilet unless specifically instructed.   When in doubt ask your pharmacist.

Have you ever shared a prescription with someone?  Do you question your physician when he grabs his prescription pad if there is another alternative?  We would love your comments on your prescription experiences.