Tori Perry: Hi! I am Tori Perry a registered nurse with MedStar Visiting Nurse Association. Today I will share some very important safety tips to help you with your medicines.
Check the date on your prescription bottles. Make sure it is prescribed recently and the drug is not expired. Carry a list of all your medicines. Keep it up-to-date. Include all over-the-counter medicines. Carry the list with you at all times, like the doctor's appointments or the hospital. Make sure your medicine bottles match your list. Keep the medicine bottles you're using in one ziplock bag, so they do not get confused with other bottles of pills.
Keep one reserved pill in each bottle. This will allow you to match the pill to the bottle just in case you don't know what the pill is for. This also helps if you run out of a pill, so you know which bottle to refill. Keep your pills organized by using a medicine box with the days labeled. This helps you know what days and times to take your medicine. Allow enough time to get your pills refilled. Never wait until the last pill. Refill your prescription at least one week before you run out.
Be careful of medicine name. The generic or brand name could be different, but the drug may do the same thing. Know the purpose of the medication so you don't take the same thing twice. Read the information that comes from the pharmacy. It will tell you the other names that the drugs may have. Some medicines should not be taken with other drugs, certain foods, or oral supplements. Use the medicine lists to know when to take your medications and if it should be taken with food. You can write this information under special instructions. Know the potential side effects. If you experience side effects, call your doctor.
These steps will help to make sure that you are taking your medication safely and as your doctor ordered. Following your doctor's instructions for your medicine is the best way to stay well and out of the hospital.