Get wise about your medicine
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.