Safe Medication Practices
Gangamai Hospital is committed to the long term health of its patients. The following tips will help you in making informed decisions.
What to ask the doctor
- What are the generic and brand names of the medication?
- Why do I need to take it? Are there alternatives in terms of potency or cost?
- What time of day should I take it?
- How often should I take it?
- Where should I store the medication?
- Should I take it on an empty stomach or with meals?
- What should I do if I miss a dose?
- How will I know it is working?
- How long should I expect to take the medication?
- What side effects should I expect?
- Does the medication interact with any foods, alcohol, other medications (including over-the-counter medications), or activities?
- Find out if any food is to be avoided when taking a particular medicine
- Will the medication interfere with driving, working or other activities?
- Inform the Doctor of any and all other medication you are taking and whether you have any allergies or pre-existing medical conditions
- Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or breast feeding
- If you have any doubts about the medication prescribed to you, clear it with your doctor
- Ask the doctor to explain your prescription to you if you have any doubts about it, some medication is not swallowed at all but kept under the tongue
- Do not discontinue medicines without the advice of your doctor
Safe practices:At home
- Try to purchase your medicine in its entire ‘strip form’. This allows you to read the name of the medicine and its expiry date
- Some medicines may be purchased only with a prescription. These laws are in place to protect you from adverse drug incidents
- Store medicines away from direct sunlight in a cool dark place to maintain its potency. Some medicines need to be kept in a refrigerator
- Keep all your medicines in a designated area, out of reach from infants and children
- Separate and discard expired medicine
- Keep a log or history of all medication consumed daily. Some people have found that maintaining a ‘pill box’ that is pre-filled daily avoids confusion and prevents overdose
- Contact your Doctor in case you experience adverse effects
- Keep medications in their original containers in your carry-on luggage when you travel
- Do not pack your medications in checked luggage in case your suitcase is lost
- Take extra medication with you when you travel in case your flight/train/bus is delayed and you need to stay away longer than planned