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The World Health Organization is focused on medication safety this year. Why? Common medication mix-ups cause thousands of deaths every year in the US, alone!
Let’s keep you and your family safe! Keep these tips in mind.
Look up every drug prescribed. Know what it is meant to treat and possible side effects. Have a conversation with your doctor if one of the meds prescribed is on one of these lists:
The Beers List if aged 65/plus
For children, the KIDS list.
Make sure your doctor knows ALL the medications you take, including any non-prescription remedies you pick up at the drug store. Don’t forget any recreational drugs…they will not judge you. Your doctor wants to make sure you won’t suffer any bad interactions.
If you can’t afford your medications, tell your doctor. Though it may be tempting, don’t skip any doses of an expensive medication to make it go further. Ask if there’s something else that’s more affordable.
During a hospital stay, ask about all the medications you’re given, but NOT while the nurse is giving any medication to you! For safety, nurses must focus on “The 5 Rights” of medication administration:
Keep these 5 “rights” in mind at home, too.
Create a system that helps you remember to take your medications the “right way.”
Have a smartwatch or phone? Set up reminders! Days-of-the-week pill boxes are handy, too. Check out the App Store and ask your pharmacist for ideas. (Yes, it’s that important to have a reliable system in place!)
Medication management can be overwhelming, especially when …
… You have a new diagnosis
… Your doctor switches your medications or
… You’ve just been discharged from the hospital.
Most medication errors occur during these critical times.
So… will you help us spread safe care everywhere? Share these tips with your family and friends!