Know Your Medications

medications clean
Many people do not realize how important it is to understand the medications they are taking, their potential side effects, and the importance of following dosages. It is surprising how many people do not follow their physician’s instructions or don’t take the time to ask questions about the medications they are taking. Here are some important things to remember:

  • Know why you are taking a medication
    • Why was it prescribed?
    • What is it supposed to do?
    • How long does it take for the medicine to work?
  • Know how and when it should be taken
    • Do you need to take it at a certain time every day?
    • Do you need to take it with food?
    • Is there anything that may interfere with this medicine?
      • Alcohol
      • Herbal Remedies
      • Other Medications
  • Know what to do if you miss a dose
    • Should you take it immediately?
    • Should you wait until the next time you are supposed to take it?
    • Should you double up your next dose?
  • Know the side effects
    • Are there any ways to counteract them?
    • Which side effects are serious and require attention?
    • Do you have any restrictions while taking your medication?
  • Know proper storage and disposal
    • Do they need to be refrigerated?
    • Do you know if your community has a drug take-back program?
    • Is this medicine potentially dangerous if it is flushed down the toilet or sink?
  • Know if there is a generic version
    • Is there a generic brand of your medication that could potentially save you money?
    • Are there any concerns with taking a generic version over the brand name one?

Most of all, memorize the names of all the medications you are on and what dosage. This is important if you find yourself in an emergency medical situation. Your treatment, and potentially your life, could depend on it.