Medication has the potential to greatly improve your life. It can help reduce pain, among many other symptoms, and many medications have the potential to prolong your life.
Unfortunately, the opposite can also be true.
Medication also has the potential to make you sick, and when not taken properly, it also has the potential to shorten your life instead of lengthening it. The good news is that’s only the case if you don’t take your meds safely.
Make the most of the medication you take on a regular basis by following these tips.
Know The Dangers Of The Medicine You’re Taking
Not all medicine is safe. The problem is, the true safety of a particular medication isn’t always known until people may have been taking it for many years. Surprisingly, many of these medications continue to be sold and taken by consumers.
For example, Zantac is one of the most prescribed medications in the United States with more than 15 million prescriptions in 2016. It was found at the end of 2019 that a carcinogenic toxin had been included in the medication. If you took this medication in the past, or are currently taking it now, you could be putting yourself at risk.
Before you start taking a new medication, you should always do a quick search to see if there have been any recalls or problems in the past. If so, you can speak to your pharmacist or doctor about alternatives.
Make Sure You Go To The Same Pharmacist
There are a lot of convenient ways to get medication nowadays. That also means people are getting different medications from different sources, and that can cause huge problems.
Medications can interact in surprising ways that you may not be aware of. Not to mention, certain medications may contain ingredients you’re allergic to, or it may turn out that you’re taking a new medication that makes an old medication irrelevant.
Always go to the same pharmacist for all of your prescriptions. They can build a complete picture of your health and medication needs, alerting you to any potential problems as you are prescribed new medications, keeping you safe from potentially dangerous drug interactions.
Tell Your Doctor And Pharmacist About Supplements Too
Most people understand the importance of talking with their doctor and pharmacist about all of the medications they take, but many people don’t understand the importance of discussing supplements too.
Supplements, even if they’re natural, can interact with some of the medications you take. For example:
- Black cohosh is often taken for menopausal disorders, but it can enhance liver toxicity when taken with Lipitor or Tylenol.
- CoQ10 has the potential to decrease the blood thinning effects of Warfarin.
- Echinacea can change how your body metabolizes drugs, which can decrease their effectiveness.
- St John’s Wort has many numerous drug interactions with medications like birth control, migraine meds, and more.
Store Your Medication Carefully
How you store your medication matters too. The effectiveness of your medication can be compromised if you store your meds in temperatures that are too hot or too cold. A cool, dry place is the best way to store your meds. Keep medication out of the medicine cabinet, as it can get steamy in the bathroom during and after a shower. Instead, store them in a dresser drawer or a kitchen cabinet away from the stove.
If you take multiple medications a day, you should also store your medications in an organized way. Use a medication organizer, or make a list of meds that need to be taken daily that can be checked off as you take them.
Always Follow Directions From Your Pharmacist
It is extremely important to follow the directions from your pharmacist on taking your medications. That means taking your meds exactly as directed, and asking questions whenever you have them.
For example, don’t be afraid to call your pharmacist if you forgot to take a pill and wonder if you should just skip it or take two next time. It’s also important not to stop taking your medications before you talk to your pharmacist. Some meds require you to stop taking them slowly in order to stop taking them safely.
Taking medication involves more than just opening the bottle and swallowing a pill. Taking medication has the potential to be dangerous if you aren’t careful, especially if you’re taking more than one type of pill. Follow these tips to make sure you take your medicine as safely as possible.