How to Take Prescriptions Properly
“Do no harm.” In the health care industry, patient safety is the number one priority and a component of safety includes the management of medications.
Medication, as we all know, is important…sometimes even critical to the treatment of many diseases and health conditions. However, medications are capable of causing problems ranging from minor side effects to major deficits or even death.
Here are some key issues to be aware of regarding your medication routine:
- Taking over-the-counter (OTC) medications as well as physician prescribed medication requires the same focus on safety.
- Be diligent in taking the correct dose, at the correct time, and by the correct route – oral, topical, nasal, rectal and injection are the most common routes prescribed.
- Be aware that the names of some medications are “look-alike, sound-alike” but are not alike in effect. Read Labels carefully.
- Understand the purpose of each medication you are taking as well as the potential side effects.
- Drug interactions are common and are often identified on the label of the medication bottle. Tell your physician, pharmacist, nurse and caregiver about all of the medications you are taking, including herbals.
- Alert your physician to any medication sensitivities and allergies that you have.
- Do not keep medication beyond the expiration date.
- Store all medications according to the label instructions.
- Do not share physician prescribed medications with others.
- Complete the prescribed duration of therapy – Do not stop taking your medication because you “feel better” without first discussing it with your physician.
- Keep an updated list of all your medications for reference when you go to a doctor’s appointment, in case of an emergency or hospitalization.
By properly managing medications, you’ll get optimal health benefits from each prescription and alleviate many problems that can stem from misuse.