Doug / 02-10-2009 / Pharmacy Errors

Keep Your Medications Safe

Has your pharmacist ever made an error with your prescription?  Do you really know what medications you are taking? Do you check your pills after the pharmacist has filled your prescription?  Did you ask your doctor what has been written on the script?  If the answer to these questions is no, then you put yourself at risk every time you take a new medication.

To ensure your safety, consider the following pharmacists recommendations:

Know your medication.  Doctors are notorious for the poor penmanship.  So if you can’t read the script, make sure to write down the name of the medication, the dosage, the frequency  and what it’s supposed to do for you.  He may not know the side effects, so be sure to check with the pharmacist and read all of the information provided with you medication.

As with many things we eat, it’s best to check the label.  Make certain the prescription has your name on it and lists the medication as it was prescribed by your physician.

Keep your medications in a safe place.  Of course, medications should always be kept out of the reach of children, but did you know that the medicine cabinet in the bathroom is one of the worst places to store your prescriptions?  The excess heat and humidity can be detrimental to some pills, so find a cool, safe, dry place to store them.

Make a list of all your medications, including vitamins, over the counter remedies and herbal supplements.  Keep one copy where you store your medications that can be provided to emergency responders if needed, and give another copy to your physician.

Follow the doctors orders.  Take the medication as prescribed and be sure to follow the regimen until it is all gone.  Just because you feel better doesn’t mean you can stop taking the medication.

Keep a schedule.  It’s best if you can take your medications at the same time every day to keep a steady level in your system.  However, if you miss a dose, you should check with your pharmacist to see what is the best way to get back on schedule.

Never take medication that was not prescribed to you, or give yours to someone else.  While they may have the same symptons, or condition, you are not qualified to determine if what you’re taking is right for anyone else, or that what they are taking will be safe for you.

Always check your re-fills.  If the pills look different, don’t take them.  The drug store may have switched suppliers so the pills only look different, but it could also be the wrong medication which could be extremely harmful, or possibly even deadly.  So call your pharmacist if you notice anything different – color, size or shape.

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