Guidelines for Taking Medicines

Guidelines for Taking Medicines

A report by the Institute of Medicine issued that about 1.5 million people in the U.S. are harmed annually by medication errors. Keep yourself safe while getting healthy with these medication guidelines:

The first thing to remember is that you are at higher risk for drug interactions when you’re taking multiple medicines. A drug interaction happens when one medicine affects how another medicine works. For example, it is dangerous to take any combination of ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin. These over-the-counter drugs are all non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and taking more than one can cause mild nausea or severe gastrointestinal bleeding. It is important to avoid taking medicines with the same active ingredient or drugs that interact adversely because each drug can increase or decrease the effect of the other.

Medicines can also interact with alcohol. Mixing alcohol with prescription pain medicines, anti-anxiety medications, Tylenol, antibiotics, or antihistamines may cause nausea, vomiting, flushing, headache, stomach pain, or liver damage.

Lastly, avoid having multiple pharmacies. People who take medicines prescribed by more than one provider are more likely to encounter medication errors. This is because not all pharmacies would have a complete list of all the medications you are on and may not know that you are taking medicines another provider has given you. If this can’t be avoided, keep a list of all medicines you take including all your prescription and over-the-counter medicines and take it with you the next time you go to any pharmacy.

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