How to take medicines safely?

Medicines can help to improve the quality of our lives in a variety of ways. Their use can aid in the cure or treatment of an illness or disease, and they can also help to prevent the development of certain conditions in the first place. Medicines have the potential to help us live longer and healthier lives in this way.


What exactly are medicines or drugs?

Medications, also known as drugs, can be:

  1. Prescriptions. What can only be obtained with a prescription (for example, pills to lower your cholesterol or an asthma inhaler)
  2. Non-prescribed medicines or over-the-counter (OTC) pills, liquids, and creams. What can be obtained without a prescription (for example, Paracetamol or chewing tablets for heartburn)
  3. Vitamins, eye drops, and supplements.

Always please ensure that your doctor is aware of all of the medications you are taking. The term “prescription drugs” refers to medications prescribed by other doctors, as well as vitamins, supplements, herbal remedies, and over-the-counter medications that you may use from time to time.


Differences between over-the-counter and prescription medications?

OTC medicines Prescription medicines
  • Does not require a doctor’s prescriptions
  • Prescribed by a doctor 
  • Bought off the shelf in stores
  • Bought at a pharmacy 
  • Can be used by more than one person
  • Prescribed for and to be used by only one person
  • Regulated by Federal Drug Administration(FDA)


Your betterment is the main concern!

It is critical that you use your medication safely in order to get the most benefit from it. Prior to starting to use your medicines, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Use the same physician and pharmacy whenever possible. This will allow both to compile your patient history.
  • Inform your physician and pharmacist of all other medications, including herbal remedies, you are taking. Some medications can interact when taken together, which could pose a health risk.
  • Always inform your physician or pharmacist if you are allergic to any medications.
  • Inform your physician or pharmacist if you are scheduled for surgery,if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, or breastfeeding.
  • Before leaving the pharmacy, confirm that you have received the proper medication.
  • Always read the product label before taking a medication. Inform your physician or pharmacist if you do not comprehend any information regarding your medications.
  • Unless your physician or pharmacist instructs you otherwise, take your medication at the same time each day and always complete the prescribed course.
  • When traveling, be sure to bring enough of your medication so that you can take the correct dose.
  • If you have been taking certain medications for an extended period of time, ask your doctor or pharmacist to review them annually.


How to take your medicine in a safe and responsible way?

If you do not take your medication as prescribed, it may not work and may even be harmful. Here are some suggestions for avoiding errors.

  • Do not exceed the recommended dosage. For prescribed medications, the dosage will be printed on the pharmacy label. The dosage instructions for over-the-counter medications are printed on the packaging or label, as well as in the package insert.
  • Do not take a medication that has expired.
  • If you forget to take your medication, consult the package insert or speak with your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.
  • Do not stop taking your medications unless instructed to do so by your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Do not take medications for longer than prescribed by your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Never share your medications with others.
  • Do not take medication prescribed for another individual.
  • Do not save a prescription for future use unless your doctor instructs you to do so.
  • If you take prescription medication, never take an over-the-counter drug without first consulting your pharmacist.
  • Do not crush or open capsules to make them easier to swallow unless instructed to do so by your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Alcohol can interact with certain medications or diminish their effectiveness. Check with your doctor or pharmacist before consuming alcohol if you are taking medication.
  • Do not administer medication in front of children, as they frequently mimic what they observe adults doing.
  • Do not disregard an unanticipated side effect that you believe may be a result of the medication you have taken. Immediately contact your doctor or pharmacist.


Is it essential to read the product’s leaflet?

Yes, definitely. Always read the patient information printed on the packaging or leaflet. It will provide you with essential information regarding your medication, including:

  • what the drug is used for;
  • how to administer the drug and the recommended dosage;
  • potential adverse effects;
  • when the medication should not be taken;
  • storage and date of expiration


How should you keep your medications?

Every medication is unique; therefore, you must always read the storage instructions on the packaging or leaflet.

  • Store medications in a cool, dry area out of direct sunlight. You may need to refrigerate some medications.
  • Do not store medications in the bathroom or in the car, as heat and moisture can cause them to become ineffective or deteriorate.
  • Do not combine various medications in a single container.
  • Bring unused or expired medications back to your pharmacist, who will dispose of them safely.
  • Always keep medications out of children’s sight and reach.

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