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It is important to know as much as you can about the medications you take. This can help prevent medical errors that may be irremediable. Knowing your medications in depth can help you get the most benefit.

Counterfeit Drugs

A person who receives a counterfeit drug may be at risk for a number of dangerous health consequences, may experience unexpected side effects, allergic reactions, or a worsening of a medical condition. Such unexpected effects should be reported immediately to your doctor.

Investigate whether you are taking high-risk medications.

In people 65 years and older, medical studies show that some medications should be reviewed by patients and their doctors, as they can cause serious side effects. These harmful side effects include falls, confusion, drowsiness, and weakness. This type of medicine is known as a high-risk drug.

Your medication list

To reduce the risk of medication problems, you should make a complete list of

  • Medications you take
  • Vitamins and supplements you use
  • Drug allergy

In addition, you should update this information regularly, keep it on hand and make sure that someone else knows where to find it.

Other safety tips

Here are some other ways to use medications safely:

  • Know what your medications are.
    You should know the name and strength of the medication, why you are taking it and for how long. Put this information on your medication list.
    You should also understand special instructions, such as "take with food" or "avoid alcoholic beverages.
  • Watch for interactions.
    Remember that other drugs, including over-the-counter medicines, and even some foods, can interact with your medicine. That's why you need to tell your doctor about all the medicines you take.
  • Talk to your doctor about any problems or side effects. Your doctor may decide to change the dose or try a different medicine.
  • Check each filler (continued use).
    When you take a new prescription or refill, make sure it's the right medicine and strength your doctor prescribed.
  • Take each dose exactly as prescribed.
    If you have trouble remembering to take your medicines, ask your pharmacist to help you organize them.
  • Do not store medicines past the expiration date.
    Older medicines may be ineffective or dangerous.

Knowing how, when, and why to take your medicine helps to ensure your good health.