The Food and Drug Administration reports at least 75 incidents per month of mix-ups due to similarly named drugs and confusing labels. How can you avoid dangerous and costly medication mix-ups? Interim HealthCare’s Home Care program can help you manage your prescriptions, but ultimately, you are in charge of your own healthcare. That is why it is important to take an active role in your treatment plan. Here are some ways you can take responsibility and put a stop to any confusion over your prescriptions.
Ask your doctor to write down:
- The name(s) of the medication(s) you have been prescribed
- What they are for
- How often you should use them.
Next before you leave the drug store with your medications, ask the pharmacist these questions:
- What are the brand and generic names of your medications?
- What does the pill look like (color, size, shape)?
- What is the best time to take the medication, and do you take it with or without food?
- How long do you need to take it?
- What side effects should you expect, and if they occur, what should you do?
- What should you do if you miss a dose?
- Does this medication interact with any of your other medications, supplements, herbal preparations or any foods you eat?
- Does this medication replace something else you were taking?
- How should the medication be stored?
Not taking your medicine(s) as it is prescribed means you won’t get any relief from your medical condition and it may get worse. Taking prescriptions incorrectly, or taking the wrong medication, could cause side effects that can be mild—or very harmful—even leading to hospitalization. Talk to your doctor, pharmacist or home care nurse any time you have questions or concerns about your prescriptions.