Published on July 20, 2015

5 ways to safely manage meds

Medicines can make a huge difference in our lives.

med mgmtThey clear up infections and keep down blood pressure. But they can cause harm if not taken properly.

What if you stop taking a prescription medicine? Or accidentally take too much? Mistakes like these often make people ill. So ill they need emergency care.

To help you avoid a trip to the emergency department, Mercy Home Health Clinical Manager Linda Gusenko, RN, BS, offers five tips for using medicines safely.

  1. Take your medicines exactly as your doctor says. “And don’t change the amount you take without talking to your doctor,” Gusenko says. Are you adjusting doses to save money? Ask about generic drugs. They cost less. But they work just as well.
  2. Have an annual safety check. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review a complete list of your medications at least once a year to look for possible harmful drug interactions.
  3. Use a pill organizer. These usually hold a seven-day supply, with spaces for four daily doses. They make it easier to keep track of what you take.
  4. Always have a week’s worth at home. “This way you don’t have to worry about running out in bad weather,” Gusenko says. If you wait until you’ve used all your medicine and it’s on back order at the pharmacy, you could miss doses.
  5. Get help. Ask a loved one to lend a hand with managing your medicines. Or call 1.888.690.2551 to learn how Mercy Home Health professionals can help you stay safe.