According to a National Institutes of Health study, 40% of Americans aged 65 and older take five or more prescription medications. This same study found that 55% of seniors take their medications incorrectly.* How can you or your caregiver assure that you are taking your medications safely? Follow these 10 tips on effectively managing your medicine.
1. Keep a list of all the current medications you or your loved one is taking. Make sure to include the name of the medication, frequency, dose prescribed, how it′s taken, purpose and the duration you are required to take it.
2. Share your medication list at all doctor′s appointments, specialist visits and with your pharmacist.
3. Stay informed about the medication you are taking. Read the patient information sheets and instructions with your medicine to become aware of any adverse reactions that may occur with certain foods or drinks. Be mindful of confusing medications that have similar names or look alike.
4. Keep the number of pharmacies and doctors that you visit to a minimum.
5. Find a system for remembering the correct time and dose of your medication that works and stick to it.
6. Store your medications safely in accordance with the package inserts.
7. Discuss all medication changes with your primary doctor prior to adding or stopping any regimens.
8. Throw away all expired medication, even over-the-counter pills.
9.Never take medication that was prescribed to someone else. Even if your symptoms are similar.
10. Always order repeat prescriptions in advance to avoid missing doses.
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