Top 5 Mistakes with Medications

Prescription medications can help you stay healthy and even save your life.  But, they also come with risks and need to be taken properly.  Here are the Top 5 mistakes people make with medications and how you can prevent them.

  1. Not following the directions on the label.

Your doctor prescribed this medication to be taken in a specific way. Taking too much may cause serious side effects or taking too little may not help at all.  Be sure to talk with your helpful Intrepid Pharmacist so you understand how your medications can be taken properly.

2. Combining medications inappropriately

Many medications can interact with other medications.  This means that when you take two or more medications they may not work well together or worse, the combination can make you very sick.  This can also happen with certain foods and alcohol.  Your Intrepid Pharmacist can advise you on what to avoid with your medications.

3. Not taking your medications long enough

A common mistake I often see is when people stop their medication too early.  Sometimes they may start feeling better and stop their antibiotic.  This may cause the infection to come back even worse. Another example can occur with quitting smoking medications.  At a minimum, most people should be on the medication for 12 weeks but many stop taking the medication very early on feeling they have broken the habit.  Unfortunately, they are often back to smoking in just a few days or weeks and are less motivated to try again.  Take a moment to discuss how long you should take your medications with your Intrepid Pharmacist.

4. Forgetting to take medications

Many of my patients are on several medications a day.  I have some that are on 15 to 20 pills a day.  Anyone can miss or forget a dose when they have a complicated medication regimen.  This can be a serious problem especially for medications to treat seizures or prevent blood clots.  Our Intrepid Pharmacist can dispense your medications in a blister package, to help you remember when to take your medication.

5. Sharing Medications with Family or Friends

It’s normal to want to help a loved one when they are not feeling well.  However, giving them some of your medication may make them feel worse.  You may not know how their body will react or whether they are taking another medication that may cause a bad interaction.  It’s best to advise them to see a health care professional or check with your Intrepid Pharmacist for an over-the-counter treatment.

Baris Huner , Intrepid Pharmacy

Written by Baris Huner, pharmacist at Intrepid Pharmacy Oshawa