A Strong Dose of Medication Safety

Adverse drug events are unwanted, harmful outcomes from the use of one or more medications. These can include anemia, ulcers, liver damage, falls, confusion, and more. According to the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, these adverse drug events are responsible for 28% of senior hospitalizations, roughly 32,000 hip fractures, and more than 3 million adults losing their independence.

To avoid adverse drug events, practice proactive, safe medication management with these 5 tips:

  1. Use a pill box. This can keep pills organized, and some electronic pillboxes offer a reminder or alarm when it is time to take another dose.
  2. Maintain a list of medications. Provide doctors and emergency contacts with this important list, which should include the name, prescription date, and dosage of all medications. Also, keep a copy of the list in a purse or wallet for emergencies.
  3. Fill prescriptions at one pharmacy. This will make it easier to track any medication changes to avoid drug interactions.
  4. Always consult your doctor first. Before taking an over-the-counter medication or herbal supplement, talk to your doctor to ensure that it won’t interfere with any other prescriptions.
  5. Dispose of medications properly. Since many prescriptions are considered hazardous materials and cannot be dumped in the trash, flushed down the toilet, or rinsed down the sink, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office collects unused and expired medications for disposal at its office location on the corner of Pine Ridge Road and Gladiolus.

For questions about how to implement the medication safety information above, contact your doctor or local pharmacist.

Shell Point residents benefit from an on-site pharmacy, staffed with three full-time and two part-time pharmacists who assist independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing residents in keeping their medications organized and supplied.