Get wise about your medicine

Central Leader - - HEALTH& WELL-BEING -

Medicines are used to op­ti­mise and main­tain your health and treat or pre­vent ill­ness.

All medicines need to be used cor­rectly so they can be ef­fec­tive. If they aren’t used cor­rectly, medicines may not work as in­tended and may even be harm­ful.

You should al­ways know why you are tak­ing a medicine and what symp­toms it is meant to help.

‘‘All medicines should be used only as di­rected and must not be given to some­one they were not in­tended for with­out first check­ing with a health pro­fes­sional,’’ Self Care phar­ma­cists say.

Self Care phar­ma­cists also ad­vise you to check with your phar­ma­cist be­fore tak­ing any new medicine, es­pe­cially if you are al­ready tak­ing a medicine.

Some medicines can in­ter­act with each other if taken to­gether. Oth­ers, such as parac­eta­mol, could be con­tained in a cold medicine you might be tak­ing al­ready so you should check to see that you are not dou­bling up.

Talk to your phar­ma­cist if you have trou­ble remembering to take your medicines – there are many so­lu­tions out there in­clud­ing blis­ter pack­ing your medicines into weekly or monthly packs so you can track when and what to take with ease. Blis­ter pack­ing of­fers the fol­low­ing ad­van­tages:

Each dose is packed into a blis­ter and marked with the time and day it needs to be taken. Th­ese clear in­struc­tions help avoid con­fu­sion.

You can see at a glance if a medicine has been taken.

No bulky bot­tles to cart around and store.

Re­duces the chance of er­ror, un­der dose or over­dose.

Dis­creet and por­ta­ble – carry it around with you any­where. A day’s medicine comes in a con­ve­nient tear off strip.

Sim­ple to use for peo­ple of all ages.

Some­times it is im­por­tant to take the whole course of a medicine, such as with an­tibi­otics.

If you stop tak­ing your medicine be­fore the course is com­plete, the medicine may not work as well the next time you need it.

It is im­por­tant to swal­low tablets and cap­sules with a large glass of water so they get right down to your stom­ach.

It helps to lean for­ward when you swal­low.

Be aware that not all tablets and cap­sules can be halved, crushed or chewed with­out af­fect­ing the way in which the medicine is de­liv­ered. Please be sure to check with your phar­ma­cist.

It is im­por­tant to pay par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion when mea­sur­ing liq­uid medicines to be sure that you get the right dose.

Too much medicine can be harm­ful and too lit­tle could de­lay re­cov­ery.

Many peo­ple still use house­hold tea­spoons to mea­sure out liq­uid medicines with­out re­al­is­ing that not all tea­spoons are the same size.

Self Care phar­ma­cists rec­om­mend you use proper mea­sures to mea­sure medicines ac­cu­rately.

Spe­cial de­vices, such as drop­pers and sy­ringes, are avail­able for ba­bies and chil­dren.

If you are un­sure how to take your medicine or have ques­tions about any other as­pect of your medicines, talk to your phar­ma­cist.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.