Drug safety tips

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drugsRead the package and label of all over-the-counter medicines carefully. Look for the section called "Drug Interaction Precaution."

Make sure your doctor and pharmacist have a list of all the prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and herbal products you use every day or every so often. Keep a personal medication record and take it with you to doctor's appointments and pharmacy visits.

Consider using one pharmacy for all of your prescription and over-the-counter medicines.

Before taking any new medication, ask your doctor or pharmacist whether it is safe to use with other prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal products that you are taking. Ask whether there are any foods, drinks or medications you should avoid while taking the new medicine.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist to help you choose over-the-counter medicines that are right for you.

Report any side effects or problems that you have after taking a prescription or over-the-counter medicine, vitamin or herbal product to your doctor or pharmacist.

Don't combine prescription and over-the-counter medicines unless told to do so by your doctor or pharmacist.

Don't take any medicines that were prescribed for another person.

-- Source: American Pharmacists Association

Study your medications. Know them by name, indication and dosage.

Question your medications. Ask your pharmacist or doctor to run your medication list through a drug interactions database to identify possible problems, especially if you're on five or more drugs or before starting any new medication, herbal supplement or over-the-counter medication.

Communicate with the experts. If you have more than one doctor, make sure each knows what the other is prescribing and show each your list of medications.

-- Source: American Geriatrics Society

via BelleVille News Democrat