Drug Safety Tips

Over 80% of adults in America take at least one prescription medication, and close to 30% take five or more. For many, the prescription medication, or medications, they take are essential to keeping them alive and well and with how widespread the use of medication is the medical community takes drug safety very seriously. Today, there’s a large community of experts that work in academia, the pharmaceutical industry, and even government that are tasked with identifying any potential risks and safety issues with new medication, evaluating the overall impact they could have on public health, and communicate with prescribers so they can relay this to patients in a timely manner.

To ensure you’re aware and informed about these matters, Pinnacle has put together these drug safety tips.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. When being prescribed a new medication, you want to be sure you have a good understanding of the reason it’s being prescribed, what it does, and any potential side effects. It’s your primary care provider’s job to know about the medications available to you and they’re likely your most convenient source of information. Don’t be afraid to as for help either. If you have a chronic illness or there is something else which prevents you from safely managing your medications, find someone – a friend, family member, or medical professional – to help you.

Be wary of how drugs interact with one another. Whenever being prescribed a new medication, make sure to inform your provider and pharmacist of all the medications you’re currently taking. This includes things like supplements, vitamins, over the counter drugs, and recreational drugs.

Take careful notes of how medication should be taken. Certain medication works more effectively when taken at a certain time, with food or water, on an empty stomach, et cetera so check the label on the bottle to see if there are any of these specifications. Also make note of warnings about other substances, like alcohol, that shouldn’t be mixed with the medication or activities you should avoid while on it. It should go without saying but take the medication as prescribed and always consult your doctor before stopping, even if you’re feeling better.

Keep your medication in a safe place. Reduce the risk of children getting ahold of your medication by keeping it in a secure place kids can’t reach or access.

Report any adverse effects. You should always immediately inform your doctor if you experience any strange or unexpected reactions to the medication and seek medical care if necessary.

Discard medications as you are advised to do so. While some can be safely disposed of in the regular trash or flushed down the toilet, other medications may need to be brought to medication collection sites.

 Never give your medication to others. Even if you think someone else takes the same medication at the same dosage as you do, never share medications.

Have any questions? Reach out to one of the experienced medical professionals at Pinnacle Advanced Primary Care and they’ll be happy to help you out. Contact us today!

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