Dec. 12, 2011
Dec. 12, 2011
Did you know that most Americans fail to ask questions about their medicines? Or that half of all Americans don't use their medicines as prescribed? It's true. Medicines have a lot of benefits. But they can also be harmful if not used properly.
When taken correctly, prescription medicines can go a long way to help us. Those drugs, available only with written instructions from a medical professional, can relieve pain or manage disease. Doctors often prescribe them to fight certain infections. They can even improve our quality of life.
Some people suffer from serious illnesses. Prescription medicines can help them live a fuller and happier life.
If your family is like most, you have a cabinet that is full of medicines. You may have over-the-counter pain relievers or prescription drugs. Or you may have multi-vitamins or herbal remedies. There are probably medicines you don't even remember picking up at the drugstore.
It is hard to know everything about all of the medicines your family members take. But it is important to know how to protect their health and safety.
To keep you and your family safe, you need to learn about the benefits and risks of medicines.
Here's a helpful and important tip. Whenever you have a question about medicine, always ask your doctor, dentist, nurse, or pharmacist.
You take medicine to feel better. But you should understand why your medicine will make you better. You should also understand how.
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to understand why they gave you a certain medicine. You need to know what side effects may happen.
Also, tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines. Some medicines don't mix well with others.
Know what medicines your family members are taking, too. You should read the ingredients. You need to know when, how, and how long to use medicines. You also need to know what each medicine is supposed to do. Ask your doctor or pharmacist when to expect results. And ask when to contact them if you experience a problem.
Read and re-read the label. Follow the instructions that come with your medicine. Always double check that you have the right medicine for the right person. Learn if other medicines, foods, or beverages may cause problems if used with your medicine. Pay attention to the medicine's effects. Ask your children or partner how certain medicines are making them feel.
You can get medicines in a range of places. Sometimes you buy them, other times they are given to you. So you need to be informed and prepared.
Arizona CERT is a program of the Critical Path Institute. It works with The University of Arizona College of Pharmacy. They work to reduce problems caused when two or more medicines are combined.
Below are tips given by Arizona CERT to help you avoid medication mistakes. They are listed by the different locations where you can be given medicines.
Pharmacists play a major role in stopping medicine mistakes. Pharmacists are medical professionals who can provide prescription medicines. You should think about using only one pharmacy or drugstore. This will help your pharmacist keep a complete record of all your prescription medicines. Your drugstore can also look for possible drug problems.
Sometimes, you may need to get medicine in an emergency. You may also have to get your medicine sent to you in the mail. This may happen at a drugstore other than your regular drugstore. If that happens, bring your medicine to your usual pharmacist. That way, your regular pharmacist can record your new medicine into your file.
When you pick up your medicine, be sure your pharmacist gives you printed information. Before you take your medicine, make sure you have clear answers to the following questions:
When you buy over-the-counter medicines, read the labels carefully. Some medicines may contain ingredients you do not want or should not take. Ask your pharmacist for help if you have difficulty selecting the right product.
When you are ready to go home, talk to a healthcare professional about each medicine. It may be a good idea to have a family member there with you. Update your medicine list if any medicines change or if new medicines are added.
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