Medication Safety 101
Our partner, AARP, has great tips and information to help you manage your medicines. Read the following informative guide when preparing to see your doctor or pharmacist. Remember, conversation is the best medicine!
Be An Active Member of Your Healthcare Team
- All medications, prescription or nonprescription, have risks as well as benefits.
- Take responsibility for learning how to take each of your medications safely. When in doubt, ask your healthcare professional.
- Keep and bring a list of all the medicines you take to your doctor, pharmacist and each time you are admitted to the hospital.
- Make sure that all of your doctors know about everything you are taking. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, and dietary supplements such as vitamins and herbs.
- Make sure your doctor knows about any allergies and adverse reactions you have had to medicines.
- When your doctor writes you a prescription, make sure you can read it.
- Ask for information about your medicines in terms you can understand both when your medicines are prescribed and when you receive them.
- When you pick up your medicine from the pharmacy, ask: Is this the medicine that my doctor prescribed?
- Ask for written information about the side effects your medicine could cause.
Sources: National Council on Patient Information and Education, US Dept. of Health and Human Services, U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality