Medication Safety Tips

As we get older, the odds of us taking more medications go up. Whether it be prescription, over-the-counter, or even vitamins, medications taken incorrectly and haphazardly are a great health risk. Below are some guidelines to follow when dealing with medications.

  1. Take medicine as prescribed. Following the label and directions on the bottle is key when dealing with medicine. Taking incorrect doses can lead to serious health consequences. 
  2. Beware of potential drug interactions. Medicines can affect each other and how well they work. It’s important to let your doctor know everything you are taking, even vitamin supplements.
  3. Beware of potential food interactions with medication. Some foods, such as grapefruit, can disrupt how medication is going to work.
  4. Keep a list of your medication on hand. This can be a helpful for remembering why you are taking a medication and as a reminder of dosages. This list can also help other healthcare providers know exactly what you are taking and how you are taking it. Make sure the list includes the dosage and how many times a day you take the medicine.
  5. Avoid taking another person’s medication. It’s completely possible that what they are taking can have an adverse effect with what medicine you are already taking.
  6. Be sure to keep the medicine stored properly. In most cases this means stored in a dry place away from direct sunlight. Some medicines require refrigeration. Also, if there are children in the home, take care so that they can’t reach them either.

These are just some of the guidelines to follow when taking medications. If you feel lost and confused about your medications, talk with a healthcare provider. For qualified patients, Medicare will pay for a home health nurse to review your medications and develop personalized strategies for successful adherence.  

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