Phar­macy Self Care ad­vice on safe use of medicines

Central Leader - - HEALTH & BEAUTY -

We all need to take medicines at some time dur­ing our lives - for some it is ev­ery­day, oth­ers only some­times for a cold or headache.

Whether you buy medicines or get them on pre­scrip­tion,

Self Care phar­ma­cists have some good sug­ges­tions for tak­ing medicines prop­erly, and for get­ting the best results from their use.

Know what your medicines are for. Even if your doc­tor has ex­plained, when you col­lect your medicines dis­cuss with your phar­ma­cist what each medicine is for. Your phar­ma­cist can give you in­for­ma­tion on the ex­pected ef­fects of each medicine and how to take or use them cor­rectly, and whether they will in­ter­act with other medicines you have been prescribed or medicines that you have pur­chased.

Be­fore tak­ing any medicine, read the la­bel care­fully to con­firm you are tak­ing the cor­rect medicine, the cor­rect dose, at the cor­rect time. This is es­pe­cially im­por­tant if you take many medicines at dif­fer­ent times of the day. La­bels have other im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion such as when to take the medicines in re­la­tion to food (with food or on an empty stom­ach), whether the medicine must be swal­lowed whole, whether it has to be used-up by a cer­tain date. Phar­ma­cists can also ad­vise you if you miss a dose and when to take the next one. Some­times med­i­ca­tion may be large and dif­fi­cult to swal­low. Not all tablets and cap­sules can be halved or crushed and your phar­ma­cist can help you with this. Talk to your phar­ma­cist if you de­velop any un­usual symp­toms af­ter you start tak­ing a medicine.

Al­ways mea­sure liq­uid medicines ac­cu­rately, us­ing proper mea­sures, to make sure you get the cor­rect dose.

Drink a large glass of wa­ter as you swal­low tablets or cap­sules. This will stop the medicine be­com­ing stuck in your throat and help it get down to your stom­ach quickly to start work­ing as soon as pos­si­ble. It helps to lean for­ward as you swal­low.

Store medicines cor­rectly and dis­pose of them safely. Safe means out of reach of chil­dren - prefer­ably in a locked cup­board. This is re­ally vi­tal when chil­dren come to your home only oc­ca­sion­ally. Store medicines in a dry place, away from di­rect light or heat, so they don’t de­grade. How­ever, some medicines need to be kept in the fridge.

Don’t keep medicines that are no longer needed. De­spite the wastage, there are safety con­cerns in keep­ing old medicines ‘‘just in case’’.

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