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Know Your Medications
How well do you know your pharmacist? How well do you know your medications?
Medication may be defined as a substance or preparation used in treating disease. Medication includes prescription, non-prescription (over-the-counter) and herbal remedies. Many adults also enjoy alcohol. We use pills, potions and alcohol to alter the way we think, feel or respond to a discomfort.
When does it get risky? Problems can occur with a single medication but often it is the combination of medications.
Whenever you get a prescription from your physician or nurse practitioner, be sure you get the information that you need:
♦ what is the name of the medication?
♦ why am I taking it?
♦ are there side effects?
♦ what if I need a refill?
♦ will this medication affect any of the medication that I am taking?
Take along a list of all your medications to assist your health care worker to prescribe appropriately for you. Build a good relationship with your pharmacist and always use the same pharmacy. They keep a complete record of your medications. Read their patient information handouts. Ask questions:
♦ what should I do if I miss a dose?
♦ how should I store my medication?
♦ what do the symbols and stickers on the medication container mean?
♦ are there any foods of beverages that I should avoid?
♦ do I take it with food or on an empty stomach?
♦ how will this medication interact with my other medications or alcohol?
It helps to write out the answers to questions about your medications.
Does medication expire? Yes. Many prescriptions are for a specific period of time and should be taken until finished. Donít save a prescription for future use unless instructed to do so.
Being an informed consumer can avoid situations that lead to health problems. For more information or medication resources, contact Public Health at 519-376-9420 or 519-881-1920 visit our web site at www.publichealthgreybruce.on.ca
We work with the Grey Bruce community to protect and promote health