Using Medications Safely


   


Phone: N/A
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Area(s) Served:
Nationwide

Contracted Provider:
Not Applicable

Description:

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  • Discard outdated medications and those left over from a previous prescription.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.