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Safer Medication Use

For many people, taking medication is a regular part of their daily routine.  And although medicines can make you feel better and help you get well, it's important to know that all medicines, both prescription and over-the-counter, have risks as well as benefits.

Tips for Safer Medication Use:

  • Take medication as prescribed or as directed on the package and avoid sharing with others.
  • Inform your Healthcare Provider and Pharmacist of all the medications you are taking (prescription, over the counter, vitamins, and herbal remedies)
  • Check with your Healthcare Provider or Pharmacist before using any over-the-counter and herbal medications.
  • Learn the side effects of all your medications and tell your Healthcare Provider and Pharmacist about any that you are experiencing.
  • Drug combinations could increase the risk of falls and other injuries by causing confusion, drowsiness and poor coordination.
  • Request a medication review at least yearly, or anytime you start a new medication. Can any medications be reduced or discontinued?
  • Go to only ONE pharmacy.
  • Keep a list of all medications in your wallet.
  • Request large print on labels or blister pack dispensing for your medication if needed. 
  • Keep your medications safely out of the reach of others and locked if you are concerned others will access them.
  • Return medication that you are not using to any drug store for safe disposal.
  • Alcohol should be avoided when taking some types of medications (i.e., sedative drugs, opioids, some types of antidepressants and antibiotics). Drinking alcohol while taking these medications may make you sick, make your condition worse or increase your risk of overdose. Talk to you Healthcare Provider or Pharmacist about alcohol use when starting a new drug.

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Medication is the leading cause of poisoning in children.
  • Even small amounts of adult medication can be fatal to a child.
  • Prevention is the key to keeping kids safe.
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