4 simple tips to take drugs safely

4 tips to take drugs safely

Many people take drugs and supplements on a daily basis.

Researchers suggest that it is important to be careful when using prescription and over-the-counter drugs, herbal preparations, and supplements.

This is because using additional drugs can increase harmful side effects and interactions.

RADM (Ret.) Sandra L. Kweder, M.D., F.A.C.P., a medical officer at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, provides several tips for people to take medicines safely.

Always take medicine as prescribed

It is important to take medicine regularly and follow your health care provider’s instructions.

People should not take prescription medications that haven’t been prescribed for you.

Also, people should not skip doses or stop taking medication without first consulting with their doctors.

If there are side effects or have other questions, they need to talk to their doctors.

Keep a medication list

It is important for patients to write down what they’re taking and keep the list with them when visiting their doctors.

The list should include the medicine’s brand name, if applicable, and a generic name. Also write down why they’re taking each medication, the dosage, and how often they take it.

If they change their doctors, they should provide the up-to-date list to their new health care provider.

Know potential drug interactions and side effects

Sometimes, a common food or drink may interact with drugs and make them less effective or more harmful.

Patients should learn about possible interactions and the potential side effects of their medications.

They need to carefully read drug facts labels on over-the-counter drugs (OTC) and the information that comes with their prescription medications.

For people who are seeing more than one health care provider, it is important to tell each one about all medications, herbal preparations, and supplements they take.

Review medications with a health care provider

People need to discuss the prescription and over-the-counter medications and dietary supplements that they take with their doctors at each visit.

They need to confirm if the medications are still necessary and if the supplements are appropriate.

If it’s not possible to review medications at each visit, schedule at least one review each year.

A medication review can help people avoid drug interactions, reduce side effects, and lessen costs.

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