April 16, 2012Health and Healthcare, Wellness 0 Comments
Tips for Avoiding Medication Errors At the Doctor’s Office
- Before your appointment, make a complete list of all medications you take, including prescription and no-prescription medicines and nutritional supplements. Whenever your medications change, be sure to update your list.
- Ask your doctor to explain your prescription, including the drug name, how often you should take it and what the purpose of the medication is.
- As you age, some drugs may affect your body differently, so ask your doctor periodically if it may be time to adjust dosages of medications you have been taking for a long time.
At the Pharmacy
Pharmacists play a major role in preventing medication errors. Using one pharmacy will help your pharmacist keep a complete record of all your prescription medicines and cross-check for potential drug interactions. If you get an emergency or mail-order prescription filled elsewhere, bring the container to your usual pharmacist, so the information can be entered into your file.
When picking up a prescription, be sure your pharmacist gives you printed information about your medication and you have clear answers to the following questions:
- What are the brand and generic names of the medications?
- What should the medication my doctor prescribed look like?
- How much should I take and how often?
- Is there a best time to take it?
- How long will I need to take it?
- Are there potential side effects, and what should I do if they happen?
- What should I do if I miss a dose?
- Does this medication interact with my other medications or with any foods?
- Does this medication replace anything else I have been taking?
- Should I avoid any liquids, foods, other substances or activities while using this medicine?
- Could I become tolerant, dependent or addicted to this medicine? If so, how can I avoid this?
- Where can I get more information about this medicine?
- If the directions say to take the medication every three or four hours, ask if that means throughout the night as well as during the day.
- Is this medication available in a child-resistant container?
- What is this medication’s expiration date?
When you buy over-the-counter medications, read the labels carefully- they may contain ingredients you do not want or should not take. Ask your pharmacist for help if you have difficulty selecting the right product.Tags: featured, Medication Errors, medication safety, Prescription, Prescription safety, Prescriptions