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Home > Health Topics > Aides for Daily Living > Your Medications List: It Can Save Your Life

Your Medications List: It Can Save Your Life

If you are taking a medicine (and especially if you are taking two, three, or more medicines), it’s important to keep track of what you are taking by keeping a current medication list. This list should include prescription medications, over-the counter (OTC) medications, vitamins, dietary supplements and herbal remedies. It should include the doses and how often you take each medicine.


Medications are very useful when taken correctly; however, unwanted side effects or adverse events can occur due to interactions with other drugs, food or herbal products. Everything that is swallowed is broken down by your body to be eliminated. Some medications are broken down by the same pathways as food, herbal products or other drugs. Therefore, it is important your doctor and pharmacist know all the medications and supplements you take.


Make a copy of your medicine list and keep it with you in your wallet or purse. By sharing your up-to-date medicine list with your healthcare providers at every visit, you help make sure that you don’t take a prescription or over-the counter (OTC) medicine that should not be taken with the other medicines on your list.


It’s also a good idea to provide a copy to your pharmacist so that he or she can check for any possible drug interactions between your new prescriptions and something you may already be taking.


Don’t forget to make a copy of your medicine list for a family member or other loved one. That way, if a medical emergency does happen to you, your medicine list can be provided to the emergency room or hospital personnel.


Many organizations now offer a medications list. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists offers an easy-to-use free version, “My Medicine List,” at http://www.safemedication.com/safemed/MyMedicineList/MyMedicineList_1.aspx. As an additional helpful feature, you can include information on known drug allergies, other problems with medications, emergency contact information and questions for your doctor or pharmacist.


Complete instructions are provided. Before you get started, gather up all of your medications, vitamins, etc. in one place for convenience. Once you have entered the information, keeping the list up to date is easy. Do it today for your health and your peace of mind!

 

And if you need a way to help you remember when to take your medications and supplements, check out our "Aids for Daily Living" section for pill reminders you can use at home and take on the go!

 

Good Neighbor Pharmacy Health Connection, November 2014

—Source: National Council on Patient Information and Education

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