Prescription medications are, for some, a way of life. Patients may be inundated with pain, an illness, or some other medical issue that results in the need to use multiple medications. While prescription drugs are meant to provide relief to some of life’s common ailments and illnesses, when used improperly it can lead to serious medical issues. From headaches, sweats, and changes in mood to addiction and even death, there is a lot that can go wrong when prescription medications are improperly used or stored.
To prevent this from happening to you or someone you care about, here are a few tips for being responsible with prescription medications.
• Know What You’re Taking – Before popping a pill it is imperative to know what you’re taking. While the doctor wrote the prescription and the pharmacy filled it, you want to make sure that the contents of your prescription bottle are what you’re supposed to be taking. A pill identifier can make this easier to determine. You can then look up the type of pill and its uses prior to taking it.
• Take as Directed – No matter what, it is imperative that you take your prescription medications as instructed by your doctor. Don’t take any more than what is prescribed and if it requires you to take one a day, don’t try and take it more than that. If you feel the medication is not helping or not strong enough, contact your doctor.
• Follow All Instructions – Often, prescription medications come with instructions. This may include taking it with food or on an empty stomach, not being exposed to sunlight after taking the medicine, and/or not to operate a vehicle or heavy machinery. For your safety and well-being, it is ideal to follow this advice until you know how your body reacts to the medication.
• Don’t Share – Even if you’re absolutely sure that someone you know has a condition you previously had, you should never share your prescription medicine. Since you’re unaware of any underlying conditions the person may have, giving them medication that was not prescribed to them could result in adverse effects. It is best to simply recommend them to your doctor for treatment.
• Don’t Trick Your Doctors – It’s not a good idea to lie about pain or an illness you don’t have simply to get more medication. This can be harmful to your health and could get you in a lot of trouble. Be honest with your doctor about how you’re feeling so that they can adequately treat you.
• Keep Pills Away from Children – This is a given, but be sure that you’ve stored your medications in an area that is free from both small children and impressionable teens. You don’t want them to get a hold of powerful medications that could gravely hurt their health. Teens also have a higher tendency to get addicted to prescription meds so you’ll want to keep an eye out. So, if you have a medicine cabinet, make sure it’s locked.
• Keep Medicine in Original Bottle – The best way to properly use your prescription medication is to make sure that you’ve kept it in the original bottle. The prescription bottle has all the necessary information as it pertains to usage, instructions, and expiration dates pertaining to that medication.
• Throw Away Expired Drugs – Medications have an expiration date for a reason. If you have medicine left over that is nearing its expiration date, you should get rid of it. The medicine is no longer as effective as it used to be any more so keeping it is really a waste and may persuade you to use more than a recommended dosage.
• Stop Using – When you’re no longer in pain or no longer feeling bad it is important to stop using the medications prescribed to you. Using them longer than instructed can cause serious health issues and develop a dependency on the medication.
Prescription medication is meant to help improve your health. When used correctly, you can often experience relief from a plethora of ailments or symptoms. However, the misuse of prescription medications can lead to adverse health issues. Using the above-mentioned tips will certainly help. If you need help with a dependency or addiction, be sure to reach out to your doctor for assistance before things get out of hand.