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Medications: how do you keep them all straight?

Author: Chris Bennett
Published: Oct 11 2012

It is a fact that many people over the age of 65 take at least two to seven prescription drugs every day. It can be extremely difficult to keep track of all the medications; what they are for, when they are to be taken, and how each medication will react with others. Taking each prescription correctly is needed for health and safety. Below are some great tips to follow to keep track of medications to prevent any unwanted or deadly side effects.

Organizational Tips

There are a few ways to keep track of all of your prescriptions, vitamins and herbal supplements. One popular and easy way is to make a chart or checklist. This can include all of your medications along with when you need to take them and when they need to be refilled. It should be placed somewhere where you will always see it as a reminder.

Pill boxes are another popular way to keep track of which medications you are supposed to be taking on a daily basis. This is a good way to have a week's worth of medication ready to go. However, once the pills have left their original bottles, it can be difficult to know which pills they are. This means that they can get mixed up pretty easily. It is always a good idea to have someone that you trust double check your pill boxes to ensure that they are filled correctly.

If you have multiple prescriptions to take, you should know that they need to be taken as directed so there are no harmful side effects. If you do end up accidentally mixing medications that bring on a bad side effect, you should call a doctor immediately. If you or a loved one has a bad reaction or death because of a medication such as Pradaxa, then a pradaxa attorney should be contacted.

Don't Skip Days

If your doctor has prescribed you a medication that is to be taken every day, then you should not skip any days. Remembering to do so can be a challenge in itself. A good rule of thumb to help you remember is to get on a schedule to take your pills the same time every day.

Pay Attention When Mixing Medications

Mixing the wrong medications can prove to be very dangerous. If you have more than one doctor, you should talk to each of them about which medications you are currently taking. This is important so that they don't give you any prescriptions that can cause bad side effects with the medications that you are currently taking. This can include any over-the-counter medications, supplements or vitamins as well.

Watch What You Eat and Drink

Different medications can list certain foods or drinks that should not be consumed while taking them. If consumed, there is a possibility of side effects. Be sure to ask your pharmacist or doctor about which foods and drinks should be avoided while taking a prescription. Keep in mind that some medicines need to be taken with food and others do not.

Don't Drive On Drowsy Medications

There are many medications that have drowsiness as a side effect. It is extremely important to be cautious of this and not drive or do anything that could be dangerous while taking them. Driving should be especially avoided when taking any prescriptions that can cause drowsiness or sleepiness. Ask your doctor about any activities that should be avoided while on your prescriptions.

No matter what kind of medication or herbal supplements you are taking, when taken incorrectly or mixed with other medications, they can be very dangerous. It is imperative to double and triple check every medication that enters your body.  It could literally be the difference between life and death.

Chris Bennett is a caregiver and legal researcher, and a contributing author for Doyle Raizner, a leading pradaxa attorney group.  Medication litigation is a complicated arena and without proper representation it can be impossible to understand. Doyle Raizner attorneys are experienced in helping persons injured by the actions of pharmaceutical companies.

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