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On October 19, 2013, Posted by , In Medication Reminders, By ,, , With Comments Off on Home Care Services in Farmington Hills, MI

Avoiding Trouble with Medications

If the doctor prescribes any medication for your loved one, it’s up to both of you to make sure it’s safe. Before your loved one begins taking any new medicines, ask the doctor if there are any other treatment options available, such as changes in diet or exercise. Also, find out exactly how long the doctor expects your loved one to have to use the medication. It is important to find out as much as possible by asking questions and reading the package inserts. The doctor and pharmacist should alert your loved one to possible interactions between drugs, how to take the drugs properly, and whether a less costly generic drug is available.

Medication Safety Tips

  • Make sure that all of the doctors treating your loved one are aware of the drugs that other doctors have prescribed, as well as any over-the-counter drugs that your loved one might be taking. Ask your loved one’s primary care physician to coordinate his or her medication.
  • Keep track of any new symptoms or side effects. If you loved one is experiencing side effects, ask the doctor if there is a different drug that he or she can try.
  • In order to prevent mistakes, you or your loved one should read the label every time he or she takes a medicine. Be sure you both understand the timing and dosage prescribed.
  • Keep track of your loved one’s medications by using a calendar, pillbox, or weekly medicine record chart.
  • If your loved one experience dizziness, constipation, upset stomach, sleep changes, diarrhea, incontinence, blurred vision, mood changes, or a rash after taking a drug, inform his or her doctor right away.

Over-The-Counter Medications

Although mild and relatively uncommon, interactions involving over-the-counter drugs can produce unwanted results or make other medicines less effective. It’s especially important to know about drug interactions if youre loved one is taking prescription and over-the-counter drugs at the same time.

Some drugs can also interact with foods and beverages, as well as with health conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, and high blood pressure. Here are a few drug interaction cautions for some common over-the-counter ingredients (Note: This list is not complete. Check with a doctor before your loved one takes any new over-the-counter medications):

  • Your loved one should avoid alcohol if he or she is taking antihistamines, cough or cold products with the ingredient dextromethorphan, or drugs that treat sleeplessness.
  • Your loved one shouldn’t use over-the-counter drugs that treat sleeplessness while taking prescription sedatives or tranquilizers.
  • If your loved one is taking a prescription blood-thinner, or suffers from diabetes or gout, check with a doctor before he or she takes any products that contain aspirin.
  • Your loved one shouldn’t use laxatives when he or she experiences stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting.
  • Your loved one shouldn’t use any medicines that contain the ingredient phenylpropanolamine (PPA) if he or she is being treated for high blood pressure, depression, heart disease, diabetes, or thyroid disease, or if he or she is taking other medicines containing PPA.
  • Unless directed by a doctor, your loved one shouldn’t use a nasal decongestant if he or she takes a prescription drug for high blood pressure or depression, or if your loved one has heart disease, thyroid disease, diabetes, or prostate problems.


Source:  http://www.caregiverslibrary.org

Contact Pure Home Care Services at (586) 293-2457 today!  If you live in Farmington Hills or the surrounding area, we can help you care for your loved ones.

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