Resource More Information

Using Medications Safely

Phone: N/A

Area(s) Served: Nationwide

Contracted Provider: Not Applicable


Medications are probably the single most important means that health care professionals have to help prevent illness, disability and death in the geriatric population. When used correctly, prescribed or over-the-counter medications can greatly improve the health and independence of older Americans.

Safety Tips for Using Medications At Home

  • Use a medication box or other system to manage your daily medications.
  • Ask your pharmacist for suggestions.
  • Write out a medication schedule and keep it with your medications.
  • Always drink plenty of water after swallowing a tablet or capsule.
  • Sit or stand when swallowing medications. This prevents them from getting stuck in your throat.
  • Do not crush medications until you check with your pharmacist.
  • Never take medications prescribed for some one else.
  • Never stop taking a medication without first consulting your physician.
  • Keep medications out of the reach of children and memory-impaired persons.
  • Store all medications in a cool, dry place. A closet may be preferable to a medicine cabinet.
  • Discard outdated medications and those left over from a previous prescription.

At the Doctor`s Office and the Pharmacy:

Get clear instructions regarding your medications:

  • Name of the medicine.
  • Purpose: Why you are taking the medicine. 
  • Dose: How and when to take the medicine.
  • Duration: How long to take the medicine.
  • Effects: What results to expect from the medicine and what to do if the expected results do not occur.
  • Side Effects: Possible side effects and what to do if side effects or unexpected reactions occur.
  • Restrictions: What to avoid while taking the medication.

Other tips:

  • Have all your prescriptions filled at one pharmacy, if possible so the pharmacist can check for drug interactions.
  • Ask your pharmacist about generic medications, which may be equally effective as brand name, but less expensive.
  • Ask your pharmacist about easy-open medication containers.
  • Ask your pharmacist whether your medications can be delivered to your home.
  • Ask your pharmacist for help selecting non-prescription medications.
 |  CMS Login
175 Tri County Parkway | Cincinnati, OH 45246 | (513) 721-1025