It is possible to reverse the trend of increasing overdoses. Being informed, paying attention, and following the recommendations below can greatly reduce the risk of overdosing.
MAKE A LIST
Make a list of
prescription medications you are taking now. Include the dose, how often you
take them, and the name of the pharmacy. Take your medication list every
time you go to your doctor’s office and the pharmacy, especially if you
see more than one doctor.
over-the-counter medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements or herbal
products that you take regularly.
List your allergies to medication and food.
Ask your doctor or
dentist for the purpose of the medication that is prescribed. Have that
information written on the prescription. Many drug names look alike and
knowing the purpose helps you and the pharmacist double-check the
Understand how the
medication should be taken. Some medications can be harmful if crushed or
Ask if there are some
foods, liquids, or activities that should be avoided with the medication.
Check to see if there are any restrictions regarding alcohol use when taking the medications. Be aware of potential risks when used with street drugs.
Only take the
medication as prescribed. If the medication is not relieving the symptoms,
do not take additional doses – more is not necessarily better.
Never take someone
else’s medication. You don’t know if it will interact with your
medications, the dose may be wrong for you, or you may be allergic
CHECK THE 5 RIGHTS
Put the nationwide poison control center number – 1-800-222-1222 – beside every phone in your home and in your cell phone.
Use caution when buying
drugs over the Internet. Products bought on the Internet could be fake,
sub-potent, or not approved by the FDA. They could also be counterfeit. Use
only U.S. sites that are licensed by a State board of pharmacy.
Carefully compare the
appearance and packaging of the medicines bought online with the same
medicine you have gotten in the past from a conventional pharmacy.
Turn on lights before
taking medication. Look at all medicines before you take them. If it doesn't
look like what you usually take, ask why. It might be a generic drug, or it
might be the wrong drug.
Use eyeglasses, if
necessary, to read the label every time you take a dose to make sure you
have the right drug and that you are following the instructions.
Use actual measuring
spoons (tablespoon, teaspoon) to precisely measure liquid dosages.
Keep medications in their original containers. Many pills look alike, so by keeping them in their original containers, you will know which is which and how to take them.
medications in the bathroom medicine cabinet or in direct sunlight.
Humidity, heat and light can affect medications’ potency and safety.
Keep track of
mediations used and remaining.
Keep out of the sight
and reach of children.
Don’t store medications with food items.
Reduce supply of
medicines on hand to prevent mix ups, misuse and theft.
Only purchase and keep
medications that are actually needed.
Dispose of expired or
unneeded medications. Crush solid medications and mix with kitty litter or
coffee grounds (or any material that absorbs the dissolved medication and
makes it less appealing for pets or children to eat), then place in a sealed
plastic bag. Check for approved state and local collection programs or with
area hazardous waste facilities.