Tips for taking medications safely

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Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 1.21.41 PMTaking medications appropriately, as prescribed by your doctor, is extremely important in not only ensuring that the medications are effective but also making sure that you avoid potentially serious complications. Although this is important at every age, as an older adult, this becomes even more necessary as one may be taking more medications and the body begins to react differently to certain medications. Here are four important tips to avoid complications.

First, take your medication as prescribed. Do not skip doses or stop taking a medication without first talking to your doctor. Second, keep a medication list. Make sure to include the dose and how often you take the medication. This is especially important if you are seeing multiple doctors. Third, make sure you are aware of all potential interactions. Interactions may include how one drug affects another drug, a medical condition you have that makes taking a certain drug harmful, an interaction with a food or drink and interactions with alcohol. Last, review medications with a healthcare provider each year to assess whether all medications are still necessary.

Dr. Sandra L. Kweder, deputy director of the Food and Drug Administration says, As a society, we have become reliant on pharmaceuticals to help us attain a longer and higher-quality life. It s a wonderful success of Western medicine. The goal should be for each of us to access that benefit but respect that medicines are serious business. To get the most out of them, you should take them with great care and according to directions.