How many times have you gone to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription, nodded to the pharmacist without really listening, then left with the bottle of pills without really knowing the details? Have you ever asked questions or read the accompanying materials?
Have you talked thoroughly with your doctor about the medications you are on and what your options are? Now is the time to improve your diligence when it comes to your medication.
Here are a few things that you should be doing when picking up your prescriptions:
Tell the pharmacist about any medications you are currently taking. Don’t forget to include supplements and vitamins. Any of these could cause unwanted reactions to various medications. Although doctors are usually careful to prescribe only what is safe for you, it’s always wise to double check with the pharmacist.
Talk about your allergies. Most people know to mention allergies to medications that they have, but you shouldn’t stop there. If you have food allergies, you could have reactions to certain prescriptions. For example, a shellfish allergy may indicate that you will also be allergic to iodine. Again, it’s good to double check everything with the pharmacist.
Check all of the labels. When you pick up medications, check the label and any accompanying instructions. If there is anything that you don’t understand or that doesn’t look right, ask about it. Also check to see if there is acetaminophen in the medication. If so, be sure not to take any over-the-counter medications that also include acetaminophen or you could potentially overdose. Again, ask your pharmacist first.
Look at the pills. If it is a refill, do the pills look like the ones that you had previously? If not, ask about it. The pill shape or color may have changed, but mistakes do happen.
Everyone takes medications sometime, especially later in life, but few are diligent enough to ensure they know the details. So take the extra minute to ask questions and stay safe.
Freedom Home Care offers services to keep the seniors in your life healthy and happy. Call today to learn how we can help your family.