Senior Safe-Drugs & Medicine-Prescriptions & Medications-Web Doctors-Childproofing
A Real Danger:
As we get older our bodies change, affecting the way foods and medications are absorbed, distributed, metabolized and excreted, creating a greater risk of drug interactions and side effects.
Because of this, many seniors are sensitive to the effects of medication and require lower doses. Some medications should never be prescribed to seniors. Many senior adults see more than one doctor or specialist. This is why it is highly important to share records and communicate about medications and treatments to avoid overmedicating, adverse drug reactions or side effects. Overmedication is not only costly but some seniors may be taking drugs unnecessarily.
*Drug misuse is one of the top problems that doctors see in senior adults.
*It is estimated that 320,000 questionable prescriptions are written for seniors yearly.
*Almost 40% of all drug reactions each year involve people over 60.
Whether you are taking a prescription over the counter (OTC) medication, vitamin or supplement or using a cream, salve, holistic preparation or herbal remedy, it is very important that you discuss them with your primary doctor and/or pharmacist. Follow their instructions exactly to avoid dangerous reactions and side effects. The more medications you take, the easier it is to lose track of how many to take and when they should be taken.
*Make sure all of your doctors and any specialists communicate with each other on all medication and conditions.
*Make sure you understand how and when to take all of your medications:
*Have your doctor or pharmacist write instructions down if necessary.
*Find out if they need to be taken with anything (food, water, milk).
*Ask about food or drug interactions that may interfere with the medication.
*Read all instructions and know about the possible side effects or reactions.
*Know how long you need to take the medication.
*Select over the counter products to treat only the symptoms you have. Ask the pharmacist to make sure it won’t react with any of your current medications.
*Make sure all medications are clearly labeled and in original containers. If you have trouble reading a prescription label, ask for larger print type or use a magnifying glass or reader.
*Never take medication in the dark. You may make a mistake.
*The average senior takes 2-7 daily medications.
*Know what your medications look like. If it doesn’t look the same, contact your pharmacy or Poison Control Center about medication identification, interactions and overdoses. Keep their number by every phone: 1-800-222-1222.
*Only take the amount prescribed for you. Doubling up on medication will not make you better twice as fast. Never take someone else’s medication.
*Never stop taking a medication just because you feel better. If you stop too soon you could hamper recovery or cause a reoccurrence.
*Develop a system for taking your medication. Use a container system. Use a timer if you are having problems taking medication at a certain time. Get prescriptions refilled before you need them to avoid running out.
*Before traveling, discuss your medications and any time changes with your doctor. Carry all medications with you instead of packing them in your suitcase.
According to the FDA, 40-75% of older adults take the wrong amount of medication or take it at the wrong time.
The Internet offers information from medical advice and miracle “cures” to the purchase of medications. Many people have even discovered valuable life-saving information from a web site.
But don’;’t be fooled. Anyone can create a web site providing professional sounding advice or offers. A ‘so-called expert’ may have no medical or first hand experience. Never trust a diagnosis from someone who has not examined you. (It’s unethical and illegal).
Government health agencies sponsor some of the more reliable sites. A medical site run by experts should have:
*names and credentials listed up front.
*mission statements or an explanation of their business plans.
*a seperation between the editorial content and advertising/shopping opportunities.
*information detailing who is providing the expert opinion and their references, origins of content and current dates and updated postings. (Medical information becomes outdated quickly.)
*confidentiality agreements. (Find out how any personal information you provide will be used.)
*listings of sponsors. (Considering how that might affect the direction of the information.)
If you are experiencing a true medical emergency, dial 9-1-1 not the Internet.
Be responsible. Dispose of medications in a safe manner. Avoid using wastebaskets where children and pet have easy access and may accidentally overdose. Flush unwanted medications down the toilet or tune them in to your pharmacy where available. (It’s more environment friendly.) Many prescriptions for seniors are lethal to children.
Dispose of any medication:
*that you are no longer taking.
*whose label you can no longer read.
*that is outdated.
Places to childproof:
Children like to explore. They find medications in:
*first aid kits
Prepare for an Unexpected Visit:
If you don’t have children (or pets) in your home on a regular basis, still follow simple vital safety precautions.
- keep medications and chemicals locked up out of reach.
- do not refer to medicine as candy.
- never take medicine in front of children. (They like to imitate.)
- only give children medicine that is intended for their age and weight
Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the National Child Safety Council pamphlet and I give them full credit for this information. Please check out their website for more information.