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    Medication Safety

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    Being Safe With Your Medications

    Everyone will take medications at some point in time in their lives.  This is very common as there are medications for just about anything, and everything, that you can imagine.  You may need to simply take  cold syrup from time to time, or an aspirin.  However, you may take a lot of medications for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.  No matter how much you take, how often, or for what, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind in order to keep yourself, and your family members safe.  This article will touch upon some very basic medication safety that you can use to help keep everyone in your home safe.

    Tips to Follow

    1.)     Keep all medications in a locked cabinet that is out of the reach of small hands and animals.  You do not want your children to get a hold of any medications.  The same is true for your animals.  It is very important to make sure that you are not leaving your medications out on the counter or on the bottom shelf of the medicine cabinet.  Keep them up high and keep them locked.  The same is true for simple cold medications as they can be dangerous if they are not taken properly.

    2.)    Take the time to speak with your doctor about all of the medications that you are taking.  When you do this, you will be helping the doctor understand what you are taking and they will also be able to identify if there could be any negative side effects related to drug interactions.  You will also want to let the doctor know if you are suffering from any negative side effects related to any new medications that are you taking.

    3.)    Make a list of all of the medications that you are taking, how much and how often.  This list should be kept in your wallet, or in your purse, in case of an emergency.  This information will be needed by family members, as well as health care professionals if you are in need of medical attention.

    4.)    When you pick up your medication at the pharmacy, you want to make sure that you are getting exactly what the doctor ordered for you.  You should always check the name, the dosage, and the frequency in order to verify that the order was filled correctly.  If you have any questions or concerns they should be discussed with the pharmacist or your doctor before you actually start taking the medication.

    5.)    Take the time to learn about all of the expiration dates that are on the medications you are taking.  You should never take medications that are past the expiration date that is on the bottle.  That is why it is always a good idea to get rid of the medication as soon as it reaches the expiration date.  You should also keep the medication in the bottles that they originally came in so that you know for a fact that medication is good and it will not harm you.

    6.)    There are times when you may be in the hospital for an extended amount of time.  This means that you will need to rely on nurses and doctors to get the medications that you need each and every day.  So, you will want to be very vocal with them.  Tell them what medications you need and what time you get them throughout the day.  You should also become very vocal if you feel that you are not getting the correct medications or you are not getting them on time.  This really is not something that you should take lightly and you should ask to speak to someone who is in charge if you do not think that your medication needs are being met appropriately.

    7.)    Make sure that you are disposing of all of your outdated and unused medications appropriately.  Many individuals use to flush these medications down the commode.  However, this is not actually recommended anymore, so you will want to talk to your pharmacist about the correct way to get rid of your medications.

    8.)    Only take the medications that you are prescribed exactly as they are prescribed.  This will help ensure that you do not have any negative side effects and it will also help ensure that the medication is working properly like it is supposed to.

    9.)    Document any negative side effects that you have experienced, how often, and when they began.  This information should be given to your health care professional immediately so that any changes can be made to help you remain safe.

    Following these tips is a must.  They will definitely help you and your family remain safe and

    they will also help you in times of emergencies.  It is a really good idea for others to know what you are taking so that they can help ensure you are safe when there is an emergency as well.  When you take the time to be knowledgeable about your medications, you are taking the time to make sure that your medications will help you the way that they are intended to.