Some diabetes drugs and medical supplies are especially sensitive to temperature and moisture changes. Learn how to safely transport and store your medications.
Entries tagged with: prescription drugs
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Some pills are hard to swallow–literally. Our pharmacist offers seven tips for making your medications easier to get down.
Here's a scenario: Baby's cries wake you in the middle of the night. Bleary-eyed, you stumble out of bed to her room; she feels hot and is congested. You go to the medicine cabinet and pull out a bottle of over-the-counter (OTC) medication and give some to Baby.
Have you really helped her or have you just dosed your child with medicine that wasn't appropriate for her? Parents face this dilemma daily: What non-prescription drugs can I safely give my child and how much can I safely give her? The answers aren't always clear cut, according to new research.
Australian scientists at the University of Sydney recently presented a study on the widespread misuse of OTC meds by parents and caretakers. "We were surprised and concerned to find that some people thought that medicines must be safe because you can buy them without prescription," said lead researcher Dr. Rebekah Moles. "For example, one parent said to us that if [acetaminophen] is available over the counter, administering a double dose couldn't do any harm and asked: What could be the worst that could happen?"
The researchers reported dosing errors and inappropriate use of these medicines led to a large number of calls to poison centers as well as emergency room visits. In other words, giving the wrong kind of medicine or in the wrong amount can lead to trouble.
This problem is clearly not limited to Australia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in the United States adverse drug reactions among children under the age of 5 are responsible for 98,000 emergency room visits each year. While a majority of these are from unsupervised children finding and taking medication, the CDC notes that parents are twice as likely to mistakes when giving medicines to infants and toddlers than to older children.
Here are some tips for parents:
• Read, understand and follow the directions on the package - consult with a doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
• Do not give a child medicine more often or in greater amounts than is stated on the package.
• Use only the measuring device (dropper, dosing cup or dosing spoon) that is included with the product.
• Pay attention to small details (1 teaspoon is not 1 tablespoon; 5 ml is very different from 0.5 ml).
• Check the "active ingredient" list to make sure you are not giving your child two medicines with the same active ingredient.
• Make sure you are giving the right kind of medicine (a fever reducer won't help with a stuffy nose).
• Turn on the light when giving medicine at night, so that you know that you have the right amount of the right medicine.
• Keep all meds stored securely, away from curious little hands.
Throwing out drugs requires special handling. Here’s how to get rid of your out-of-date meds.
Making a mistake with your medications can lead to serious problems. Pharmacist Doug White provides tips on keeping your meds organized.
Should you keep your medications in the bathroom medicine chest or the fridge? Pharmacist Doug White shows you whereand howto store your medicines so they stay effective.
Are you getting the right medicine dose? Pharmacist Doug White shows you the most accurate way to measure out your medications.
Should you take your medicine with food or on an empty stomach? Pharmacist Doug White explains why meals—even that glass of water—matter with some medications.
Do you know what’s in your medicine chest? Pharmacist Doug White gives you tips on spring cleaning, showing you what to keepand what to toss.
Are your medications too big to swallow? Pharmacist Doug White shows you which prescription drugs you can safely split.