It is important to keep you and your loved ones safe when it comes to prescription drugs. There are some simple yet effective prescription drug safety tips that you can take to prevent complications and other problems that may arise. Learn how to protect your family and yourself from possible interactions, abuses, and other problems.
1. Know the Source
Many people look to save money by using an online pharmacy. This can be a very safe way to save money on some common prescriptions — as long as the company is reputable. There are some unscrupulous sites know as “rogue” online pharmacies that will sell you counterfeit drugs. These are very dangerous, as most are made with toxic ingredients. Do your research and make sure you are purchasing from safe and licensed online and mail-order pharmacies.
2. Know the Purpose
It is important to know why you are taking the prescriptions your doctor has given you. Feel comfortable talking to your doctor and understanding the purpose of each drug. This is especially true for people who are taking multiple medications.
3. Communicate with Your Pharmacist
A pharmacist is very knowledgable about medications and how they may interact with one another. If you are unsure about any of the interactions, side effects, or other aspects of the drugs, make sure you ask. Your pharmacist can also clear up any confusion or questions you may have about the drugs.
4. Make a List
Keep a list of your current medications and the dosages. Most doctors will request that you do this. Even things like eye drops or specialty lotions should be included. Make sure the list is kept up to date.
5. Know the Side Effects
Review each of the possible side effects listed on your medications. Most of the time, a reaction will occur when the prescription has just been started, but this is not always the case. Sometimes there will be a reaction after you have been taking the medication for awhile or when a new one is added. Understanding the side effects will help you know what to expect. If you experienced side effects that are not listed or that seem unusual, make sure you contact your doctor right away.
6. No Sharing
Never share your medication with others. While it might seem harmless to give your friend a pill if they are on the same prescription, this is not a good idea. Your doctor has given you that set amount of medication and expects you to take the full amount. Sharing is not only illegal, but it can also provide your doctor with inaccurate information about your dosages.
7. Out with the Old
Do not keep medications that are expired or no longer needed. Go through and clean out your cabinets to make sure any old medications are disposed of. While it used to be common practice to flush them, this is no longer recommended. Check your community for medication collection and disposal days. Most cities and towns will now take this old medication from you and dispose of it safely and properly.
8. Guard Your Prescriptions
Prescription drug abuse is very common. If you have commonly abused drugs, such as pain killers or anti-anxiety medications, it is a good idea to keep them secure. Consider locking them up. Keep a count of how many pills are in each bottle so you will know if any are missing.
Maintain a good relationship with your doctor. Talk to him or her about any concerns you have about your prescriptions. Never feel rushed or embarrassed when talking about your health. Your body and health are extremely important, so take whatever time you need in order to have all your questions and concerns addressed.
There are many ways to keep you and your family safe with prescription drugs. It is important to be knowledgable about your medications and to understand how they can affect you. Follow these prescription drug safety tips and stay smart about your medication!