Do you know that over 4 billion prescriptions are issued in the United States every year?
That is around 12 prescriptions per capita. Most of these medications are taken by seniors. Reportedly 80% of seniors take one or more medications a day.
It is estimated that over a half of the medications are taken incorrectly.
To avoid taking unnecessary pills, wasting money and risking severe health problems, make sure you ask a pharmacist the following questions:
1)What is this medication for?
2)How often and how long should I take this medication?
3)Does it interact with certain food and drinks?
4)How should this medication be stored?
5)What are the most common side effects?
6)What to do when I miss a dose?
What is This Medication for?
Make sure you know the brand name of your medication. Also, ask about the generic name which is important to know if there’s no brand you need.
Always ask a pharmacist the conditions that medication treats. Nevertheless, you’ve been taking it for years, be certain you take the right pills.
How Often And How Long Should I Take This Medication?
Sometimes it is not printed how often the medication is supposed to be taken. Is it twice a day, every 12 hours? Or perhaps three times a day, every 8 hours? A pharmacist always knows the answer to this question.
Some medications are supposed to be taken for a short period (e.g., antibiotics) while some of the others are meant to be taken for a longer period (e.g., medications for treating hypertension). Learn when and if you should stop taking that medication at one point.
Does It Interact with Certain Food and Drinks?
Certain food interacts with substances in a medication thus it is important to know what food to avoid. Alcohol is almost always forbidden, while some other drinks may interfere with medications as well.
Patient information leaflet may include the list of food and drinks that should be avoided. However, if there is no any information, check with a person working in a pharmacy where you bought your medicine.
How Should This Medication be Stored?
Keeping drugs safe should be taken seriously. There are conditions that may change the structure of a medication. Many people keep them in the bathroom which is probably the worst place in a house to store a medication.
Thus a pharmacist should inform you about the proper conditions for storing a specific medication.
What Are the Most Common Side Effects?
The list of side effects can be quite extensive. Make sure you know the most common ones and learn them before the beginning of the therapy.
It is crucial to contact a physician as soon as you start feeling the symptoms. Don’t wait for the effects to get worse. React immediately and, in consultation with your doctor, stop taking medications.
What to Do When I Miss a Dose?
This happens, and it is more common than you think. Seniors tend to miss a dose quite often, especially if they don’t have anyone by their side.
Every medication is different so ask a pharmacist what to do in this case. Never take a double dose next time before you consulted a pharmacist. This can cause even more problems.
To avoid missing a dose, use a medication reminder.
Be careful when taking drugs and ask everything you want to know while you are at the pharmacy. Prepare yourself on time and solve all doubts.
Read more about the common medication problems and how to avoid them.