Safe Medication Practices

Columbia Asia Hospitals is committed to the long term health of its patients. The following tips will help youin 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?
  • How often should I take it?
  • What time of day should I take it?
  • Should I take it on an empty stomach or with meals?
  • Where should I store the medication?
  • What should I do if I miss a dose?
  • How long should I expect to take the medication?
  • How will I know it is working?
  • What side effects should I expect?
  • Will the medication interfere with driving, working or other activities?
  • Does the medication interact with any foods, alcohol, other medications (including over-the-counter medications), or 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
  • Do not discontinue medicines without the advice of your doctor
  • Find out if any food is to be avoided when taking a particular medicine
  • 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

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
  • Keep all your medicines in a designated area, out of reach from infants and children
  • Store medicines away from direct sunlight in a cool dark place to maintain its potency. Some medicines need to be kept in a refrigerator
  • 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

Travel guidelines

  • 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 is delayed and you need to stay away longer than planned

 

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