Manage Your Medications
Managing medication can be complicated, particularly if you are taking several, and treating different conditions.
- It is important that you make sure you understand the exact dose and timing of each medication from your physician when he/she prescribes it. Verify the information with your pharmacist when you have the prescriptions filled.
- If you go to different physicians for different conditions, it is extremely important to tell all of them about each medication you are taking. It may help to carry a list with you at all times. Make sure your pharmacy has a record of all the medications that you take - including any over-the-counter medications.
- Write your daily schedule for medications on a calendar or chart. Be sure to update the schedule each time your medication changes.
- Follow the schedule exactly, and take the exact dosage prescribed by your physician.
- Use a weekly or daily pill organizer - especially when taking several different medications - to help ensure that you get the right dose at the right time.
- Keep medications in their original containers - except for those you put in an organizer. The labels contain important information such as dosage and expiration dates.
- Do not take medication in the dark, when you are tired, or when you are distracted. You might take the wrong medication or too much. Ask for help.
- Never take a medication that was prescribed for someone else.
- Alcohol can interact with many different kinds of drugs. Talk with your physician or pharmacist whether it is safe to drink alcohol with any prescription or over-the-counter medication.
- When children or grandchildren are around, keep containers out of reach, particularly those that do not have childproof caps.
- If your physician has told you to discontinue a medication, dispose of it immediately by flushing it down the toilet. Do not keep it for future needs.
- Dispose of a medication once the expiration date has passed.
- Never stop taking a medication on your own - always get your physician's guidance. Some medications must be stopped gradually to avoid complications.
- If the medication is making you feel sick or causing side effects that you find difficult to tolerate, talk to your physician about adjusting the dose or changing the medication.
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