When most people take their medication, they only look at the dosage amount before they take it. However, this can be a big mistake. Clinical Toxology has reported that the number of people calling the poison control center because of a medication error has doubled. People are either taking the wrong type of medication, the wrong dosage or accidentally taking a medicine twice.
Fortunately, there are several steps that you can take in order to avoid making a medication error. You will need to do the following when you get a new prescription.
Look Over the Ingredients
All over-the-counter medications have their ingredients listed on the bottle. Many medications have the same active ingredients. You will need to look at the active ingredients to ensure that you are not double dosing. Prescription medications have the name of the drug. They also describe how the drug looks.
Make sure that the you have the current medication name. You should also make sure that the drug matches the way that it is described on the bottle.
Read the Warnings
Your pharmacist and doctor will tell you about the possible side effects of the drug. However, it is still a good idea to look at the side effects before you take a new drug. You should also make sure that the medication will not interact with other medicines that you are taking.
Take the Right Dosage
The instructions will tell you to either take a certain number of milligrams or tablets per day. However, you should still ask your pharmacist or doctor about the right dosage.
Check the Expiration
A medication will not work as well if it has expired. Medication may also be less effective if it is stored in heat. Medication that has expired should be disposed of.
Get rid of the Excess Medication
You can should contact your local law enforcement agency to see if there is a place in your area where you can drop off unused medication. The Drug Enforcement Agency typically has a take-back event each year.
Use a Pill Dispenser
If you have trouble remembering when to take a medication, then you can use a pill dispenser. There are weekly and monthly pill dispensers available.