Medication Safety week is April 1-7. Did you know that the misuse of medication is the 6th leading cause of death? Medications should be taken seriously. While they are designed to heal us, they can be very dangerous when misused. Here are some safety tips to ensure you are not misusing medications or endangering others.
1. Only take what the doctor ordered.
Unless you went to medical school, you should not be self-prescribing. Only take medications the doctor has prescribed to you. You should also refrain from sharing your medications with others.
2. Keep Medications Out of Reach.
Prescription medication and dietary supplements can be harmful to children and animals if ingested. You should keep all medications stored away and out of reach.
3. Organize Your Medicine Cabinet
The Women’s Heart Foundation encourages people to use this week to clean and organize their medicine cabinets. Medicine expires just like food does. Clean out your medicine cabinet and discard outdated medicines and old prescriptions.
4. Read Medicine Labels Carefully
Directions and warnings are there for a reason. Not following them could lead to unwanted side effects or worse. Be sure to read the entire label. If your physician gives you information related to medication, you should be sure to read that as well.
5. Dietary Supplements
Herbal medicines and dietary supplements can react to some medications. You should always discuss taking these with your doctor before you begin taking them.
Medications should always be taken with precaution, as prescribed by your doctor. Keep these tips in mind when handling and taking medications. You should also make sure all of your physicians are aware of the medications that you are taking. Taking too many medications, or medications that don’t work well with each other can have damaging effects on your digestive system.