Tips & Tools for Using Medication Safely
Many with fibromyalgia take medicine daily – whether it is prescription or over-the-counter we should use it as safely as possible.
Obviously, following the instructions on when and how to take a medicine, as well as paying attention to the warnings, are the first step. Never change your dosage without first discussing it with your doctor.
Use a Reminder Tool:
That could be a pill box in which you just have to make sure you empty out each day or a pill reminder app for your cell phone. Some fancier pill boxes even come with alarms built in, but another option would be setting an alarm on your cell phone.
Share the Details:
It’s also important to share a full list of all medication, even supplements, with every health care provider that you see. This is very important for avoiding drug interactions. I keep a list on my computer that says the type, dose and way that I take the medicine for each item. That way I can edit the list easily and also print it off to take it to my doctors. I used to keep a list of daily, sometimes and rarely used meds in my wallet, in case of emergencies. The one time I was in horrid pain in ER and really needed it, I couldn’t think clearly enough to find it inside my wallet. Now I just take a picture of my full, detailed list and always have it on my cell phone. (I do the same with a list of my medical conditions that I have). I also send a copy of it to The Helpful Hubby so that he has access to it, if needed.
Most medication should be stored in a dry, dark and cool (between 50-68 degrees F) place. Light, heat and humidity can cause medications to quit working as well, disintegrate or even cause chemical changes that may be dangerous. So, if you’re keeping those meds in your bathroom, find a new spot for them. Also, you’ll want them out of reach of children and pets. Now days you can find medicine lockers for this purpose.
Don’t Run Out:
Especially for the meds you take daily, but sure you don’t look to your pill bottle one day and unknowingly find it empty. Many pharmacies can put you on automatic refill programs for medicines you refill monthly. I do that for one of my meds and the pharmacy texts (they have an option to call too) me when it is ready to pick up.
Know Your Meds:
Not sure what pill you are holding in your hand? Try using the WebMD Pill Identification Tool. It lets you put it characteristics of the pill to help figure it out. Of course, a pharmacist is a free, in-person tool that can also be very helpful. They can double check drug interactions, give you printed out information about the medication and answer other questions.
What’s your favorite tip or tool for using your meds?
*Image Credit: from www.flickr.com by tr0tt3r.
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