If you've ever been to a new doctor's office or hospital, it's likely someone has asked if you are on any medications. While millions of seniors take medications every day to combat chronic diseases, control other illnesses or maintain senior wellness. If you can't remember all your medications, you could run into complications – especially if you are prescribed other drugs. For this reason, it's important to keep track of your medications and fully understand potential side effects and reactions, and having the knowledge may be a life saver.
Staying on top of your medications
Many seniors don't fully realize the dangers of not knowing all their medications, potential side effects or how drugs interact with other substances. In some cases, not having the right knowledge can have serious consequences. Those who are on more than one medication may have greater risks as well. As some medications can result in unintended reactions, knowing which drugs you are taking for certain diseases or illnesses can be crucial in some situations like hospital or doctor visits. Staying on top of your medications will also help reduce the risks of other dangerous side effects. Having the right information available will help eliminate the risk of overdoses and other drug interactions.
One method to keep track of all your medications is to keep a list. This is especially important for those who are taking more than one medication. There are a few methods to keep a list of your medications. One of the simplest is to simply write down which prescription medications you are currently taking. Or, you can use an electronic list that you keep on your smartphone. Either way, it's important to keep this list nearby so you can access the information when you need it.
Understanding your medications
- Drug uses: If you have any medications, it's important you fully understand all the uses of your prescriptions, as some may overlap or cause unintended results. If you have any questions about the uses of your medications, be sure to ask your doctor.
- When you should take your medications: Certain prescription medications need to be taken at the same time every day or periodically. Whatever the recommended schedule is, it's important to stay on top of when you should be taking your medications so you don't skip doses or take too much. If you aren't sure when or how to take your medications, be sure to consult with your doctor or pharmacist. Not knowing when to take your medications or forgetting a dose can be dangerous.
- Storage: You should also be aware of how you are to store your medications. Some prescription drugs may require storage in the refrigerator or need to kept at room temperature. For the most effective use, be sure to fully understand how your medications need to be stored.
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