Medication Safety

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Like it or not, taking medication is pretty much a fact of life as we get older. So, managing how we accomplish that task is important; not just to keep us well, but also to keep us healthy, active, and safe.

Medication Safety

With that in mind, read over these safety reminders for how to manage medications, whether you take them for short-term needs or long-term:

  • Keep medications in one central location. This will ensure you know where all medicines are and not risk missing a dosage. This includes prescribed medications and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and supplements. From a safety point of view, be sure that the location is not within reach of children or even fur babies that may be climbers.
  • Keep all medications in a cool, dry place. However, always check any new medications to ensure you are adhering to their storage requirements; some require refrigeration and need to be well out of range of small hands looking for a snack. Also, storage in a bathroom is not recommended for medications due to moisture buildup from showers and baths. It makes you wonder why every bathroom used to have a medicine cabinet, doesn’t it?
  • Pill sorters are great for ensuring that daily medications are taken on a regular schedule. You can find them for by-day usage, by time of day (morning, noon, evening), or basically any format that works for you to be sure you take what you’re supposed to take when you’re supposed to take it. These can make taking daily medications much less of a chore and help you develop good habits.
  • Be sure to follow your doctor’s orders regarding your medication to get the full benefit from it. Ask questions about whether to take with or without food, foods to avoid, etc. Read the material that comes with medicines and know side effects to be aware of and report as necessary.
  • Ask questions. If you’re unsure about any medication, ask the pharmacist or call your doctor.
  • Plan for refills. Don’t wait until you take the last pill to order a refill. Weekends are the worst time to realize that ‘oops, I’m out of my daily meds.’ Many pharmacies offer automatic re-orders, which is great for those inclined to wait for the last pill before picking up the phone.
  • Know what you’re taking. Keep a list with you, noting the following:
    • Name of medication
    • Dosage
    • When to take
    • Who prescribed and for what purpose it is taken

With some safeguards in place, taking daily medications is a breeze, allowing you to enjoy life and do the things you love. Safety first!