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Manage Your Medications

Managing medication can be complicated, particularly if you are taking several, and treating different conditions.

Suggestions for managing medications:

It is important that you make sure you understand the exact dose and timing of each medication from your physician when he/she prescribes it. Verify the information with your pharmacist when you have the prescriptions filled.


If you go to different physicians for different conditions, it is extremely important to tell all of them about each medication you are taking. It may help to carry a list with you at all times. Make sure your pharmacy has a record of all the medications that you take - including any over-the-counter medications.


Write your daily schedule for medications on a calendar or chart. Be sure to update the schedule each time your medication changes.


Follow the schedule exactly, and take the exact dosage prescribed by your physician.


Use a weekly or daily pill organizer - especially when taking several different medications - to help ensure that you get the right dose at the right time.


Keep medications in their original containers - except for those you put in an organizer. The labels contain important information such as dosage and expiration dates.

Do not take medication in the dark, when you are tired, or when you are distracted. You might take the wrong medication or too much. Ask for help.


Never take a medication that was prescribed for someone else.


Alcohol can interact with many different kinds of drugs. Talk with your physician or pharmacist whether it is safe to drink alcohol with any prescription or over-the-counter medication.


When children or grandchildren are around, keep containers out of reach, particularly those that do not have childproof caps.


If your physician has told you to discontinue a medication, dispose of it immediately by flushing it down the toilet. Do not keep it for future needs.


Dispose of a medication once the expiration date has passed.


Never stop taking a medication on your own - always get your physician's guidance. Some medications must be stopped gradually to avoid complications.


If the medication is making you feel sick or causing side effects that you find difficult to tolerate, talk to your physician about adjusting the dose or changing the medication.

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