Monday, June 8, 2015

Mind your Meds

7 safety tips for prescription medications

Do you take a long list of drugs to manage serious health problems? Or do you simply reach for an over-the-counter medication from time to time? Either way, there's a lot you can do to make sure you get the most benefit from the medication -- and stay safe in the process. These tips are a good place to start.

1.  Get organized. Create a chart that outlines your medications, including when and how much to take. You can hand write your chart or you can pick up a complimentary wallet-size medication record/ID card at our office.

2.  Check into using e-tools and apps from your iPad or smart phone to help you track your medication usage. Two free apps that have good reviews are:

Med Helper  –  Pill Reminder and Medication Tracker
Pill Alert  –  Medication, Prescription Reminder and Tracker, and Tracker.
Keep your list of medications in your wallet, purse or on your cellphone. Include dosage information and what the medication is used for. Eye drops, skin medications and herbal remedies are considered medications and should be included on your list. This list will provide emergency personnel or a new doctor with much needed information.

3.   Do not stop taking medication unless you talk to your doctor first or you are experiencing a serious side effect. Call your doctor as soon as possible if you feel you need to stop a medication.

 4.   Take extra medication with you when you travel in case your flight is delayed or you need to stay away longer than planned. Always carry your medication in your carry-on luggage.

 5.    Ask your doctor about the effects of food on your prescribed medication. Some foods interfere with the body's ability to absorb medications into the blood stream. On the other hand, some prescription medications should be taken with food to prevent stomach irritation.

6.     Don’t share your medication under any circumstances. You may feel you are doing someone a favor, but this is one good deed that can turn deadly.

7.    Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing segment of drug abuse in our country. Store your prescriptions in a safe place, out of view of anyone you don’t know or trust completely. Instead of keeping your medications lying around on a counter or a bathroom medicine cabinet that’s out of your sight, consider keeping them in a lock-box, a kitchen cabinet or other place that’s easy for you to keep an eye on. Law enforcement officials have warned people that those stealing their medication can be a friend, a caregiver, a contractor or even a family member.

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