Medication Do's & Don'ts

Last month Senior Savvy published a list of questions to ask your doctor or pharmacist regarding the medications you are taking. Following are some additional tips related to taking medications that could also be useful.

Medication Do’s

  • Do understand all instructions before you take a medication
  • Do follow instructions exactly. If you miss a dose, do not take two doses next time without calling your doctor
  • Do keep all medications in one place
  • Do keep medications taken by mouth separate from those you put on skin
  • Do check the expiration dates on all prescription and over-the-counter drugs
  • Do organize a system for taking medications, such as a chart or a plastic pill container

Medication Don’ts

  • Don’t drink alcohol in combination with other drugs without first asking a doctor or pharmacist
  • Don’t give, take, or trade medications with another person
  • Don’t transfer a drug from its original container to another, except for pill containers
  • Don’t save medications for future use
  • Don’t take medications in the dark
  • Don’t stop taking medications without first checking with a doctor
  • Don’t break pills without first checking with a doctor or pharmacy

General Health Tips

  • Eat well and exercise regularly
  • Stay in touch with friends and relatives
  • Participate in interesting activities
  • Get plenty of rest, but don’t use alcohol to help you sleep. Try warm milk, or talk to your doctor or other health professional about other options.

More Information

For more information, contact the national Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information at 800-729-6686 or visit their website. You can also visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website.

Source: The above information is taken from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Aging and The National council on Aging