Do you feel like your list of daily medications keeps growing? If so, it can be daunting to keep track of them all. In addition, as you continue to age, your body is changing and it’s affecting the way medications (and foods) are absorbed, distributed, metabolized and excreted. All of these things can create a greater risk of drug interactions and side effects.
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Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind as you’re managing your medications:
- Make sure you understand how and when to take all of your medications.
- Select over-the-counter products to treat only the symptoms you have. Follow-up with the pharmacist to make sure there will not be a reaction with other medications you are taking.
- Make sure all medications are clearly labeled.
- Keep medications in their original containers.
- Never take medication in the dark or poor lighting.
- Know what your medications look like. If it doesn’t look right or the same, contact the pharmacist before taking it.
- Only take the amount prescribed for you.
- Never take someone else’s medication.
- Follow the directions on the container. Do not stop taking medication just because you feel better. Call the pharmacist when in doubt.
- Don’t carry medicines next to your body. That can raise the temperature and cause some medications to break down.
- Always get your prescription filled on time so you don’t run out. Missing even one day can make a difference in the effectiveness of many medications.
- Use one pharmacy for all of your medicines. This will help ensure that you don’t take conflicting medications.
- If you have any questions about your pills, make a note to ask your doctor or pharmacist.
- Tell your doctor if you have any side effects.
- Be sure to tell your doctor or pharmacist of any herbal preparations you are taking. Some herbals can interact with prescribed medications and cause them to be less effective.
- Know the names and doses of the medicines you’re taking.
If you’re unsure about your medications, be responsible and ask your doctor or pharmacist. You can save yourself from a lot of harm by taking these simple steps.