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Medication Safety Tips

Medication Safety Tips

downloadpdfDon’t Flush Old Medications

Never dump unused medications down the drain or into the toilet, as this could harm the water supply and aquatic life. It is recommended that you mix unused medications with used cat litter or coffee grounds and placing into a disposable margarine tub or sealable bag before putting it in the trash, or ask your local pharmacist.

Use a Medication Organizer

If you take several medications, it is important to stay organized as you portion out your daily doses.  As you are portioning your medications, be sure to avoid distractions like television and phone calls and have adequate lighting. To avoid confusion, do not start swallowing your pills until all have been portioned and double-checked for accuracy.  Make sure none of your medications need to stay in their original container.

Make a Medications List

Type or write up a complete list of all your medications, including prescription, over-the-counter, and supplements. Be sure to include the dosage and reason for the medication. Keep a copy of the list near your medication storage area and a copy in your wallet at all times and be sure to update whenever your medications are changed.

It’s OK to Ask for Help

Be honest about any ways in which you are having trouble managing your current medication routine such as:  forgetting or skipping doses, not filling a prescription, experiencing side effects, having trouble affording your medication, or feeling too dependent on a medication.  It’s OK to ask for help, speak to your caregiver or your health care provider about any medication problems you may be having.

Use Supplements Wisely

Always consult with your doctor before taking any supplements. While many supplements are made from natural ingredients, they still may be hazardous for people with certain medical conditions. Your doctor will advise you on the safety of the supplements you intend to take. Remember most supplements have not been studied or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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