There are a variety of different ways that medicine can be used. Medicine can help when we are not feeling well, and in some cases, medicine can help keep us alive. These statements just mentioned are only a few examples of the wonders of medicine. Medicine has many perks, but the misuse or abuse of medication can have serious consequences.
It’s important for patients to be aware of medication safety practices. Follow our tips in this blog for some best practices on medication safety.
Don’t let medicine fall into the wrong hands!
“Each year, approximately 50,000 children younger than 6 years are brought to emergency departments after unintentionally taking medicine when a caregiver was not watching.”(1) In efforts to lower this statistic, whether you have furry friends or little ones roaming around, follow these tips:
Keep your medicine in their original packaging. Make sure the bottle caps are completely closed.
Keep all medicine up high, out of reach of little ones.
Remind house visitors to have medications they bring with them out of harm's way.
Educate your kids about the importance of medicine and why they need a caregiver to help them take their medicine.
Tips for Safe Medication Management – do’s and don’ts
According to (CDC) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “82 percent of American adults take at least one medication and 29 percent take five or more.”(2) Majority of us take at least one medication, so it’s important to know the best practices of medication safety, such as where you should and shouldn’t place your medicine. If your medicine is kept in a not ideal environment, this can cause the medication to be less efficient- defeating the whole purpose of medicine.
Don’t store your medicine in the bathroom cabinet or above the cooktop or fridge.
Think of all the activities that happen in the bathroom and kitchen, such as taking a shower and creating steam. Due to all the heat, it makes the bathroom and cooking area not the ideal places to store your medicine. Make sure you keep your medicine dry and cool.
Don’t keep unused or expired medications.
Don’t keep medications in easy to reach places, such as in purses and on nightstands.
Hear the click to make sure the safety cap is locked.
Find local take-backs for unused medications.
It doesn't take much for medications to get misused. Take the time to brush up on how to safely take your meds and store them, and make sure you dispose of any unused prescriptions correctly. Don't know where to start? Talk to our team!
Dispose Your Medication Properly
Keep medication safe to ensure that they remain effective and do not cause harm to anyone. One of the best ways to keep medications safe is to store them in a secure location that is out of reach of children and pets. This can be a locked cabinet, drawer, or box. It's also important to check the expiration dates of medications regularly and dispose of any that have expired. Remember to keep medications in their original containers with labels intact to avoid any confusion or accidental ingestion of the wrong medication.
Use our link to plug in your zip code, county, city, state to find a collection site locator near you. https://www.dea.gov/takebackday
Best Practices When Traveling
Whether you’re going on a cruise or flying home to see family, medication safety doesn’t disappear once you leave your home.
Before You Leave:
Pack more than enough of your medication for the length of your stay in case your flight gets delayed on the way home.
Do research on your destination and transit locations. Discover the airline’s banned or restricted substances. You’ll need to reach out to your doctor about alternatives if found on the airline's restricted list.
Make sure to have all of your medical documents, information like your doctor’s information, emergency contact, vaccine records in case of an emergency.
Pack your medication in your carry-on bag. This will ensure that your medicine will not get lost if it’s kept on your person.
Know the security process prior to arriving at the airport. “All medicines (e.g., tablets, capsules, liquids, drops, and creams) must go through security screening. All medicines should be in their original, labeled containers. If you are traveling with liquid medicines, gels, aerosols, or intravenous medicine that is more than 3.4 ounces, it is allowed in carry-on baggage. Let the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent know that you are carrying these products and other related items such as freezer packs.”(3)
With the Assistance App, “Get personalized trip-preparation and travel advice, real-time updates and incident alerts, and 24/7 assistance from a real person when needed, from anywhere around the globe.”(4) https://www.internationalsos.com/subscriber/assistance-app
While On Vacay:
Beach location? Mountains? Home sweet home? Wherever your destination may be, remember to properly store your medicine safely. Bringing along insulin? Make sure to keep it in the refrigerator where you are staying or if you are bringing it along and it’s sunny out, have it traveling with an ice pack - check in from time to time to see how it’s doing!
By taking proper precautions and communicating with healthcare professionals, we can ensure that we are using medications safely and effectively. Have any questions? Ask our staff!