JHAH well-being: 23 common mistakes to avoid while taking medications
Take note of these missteps to avoid potential adverse health impacts.
To help you stay safe, take a look at some common mistakes to avoid while taking medications:
1. Not understanding the risks associated with herbal medicine use.
Always keep in mind that herbal remedies are medicines. As with any other medication, they have the potential to cause side effects and therefore should be used with care. Herbal remedies can interact with other medicines resulting in reduced or enhanced effects, or side effects. When consulting your doctor or pharmacist, always inform them about any herbal medicines you are taking.
2. Taking higher doses.
3. Taking lower doses.
4. Taking certain over-the-counter medications too often, or for extended periods.
If you tend to take certain medications habitually, or too often, you may be putting your health at risk. For example, taking over-the-counter nonsteroidal pain killers too often or for extended periods of time can lead to serious side effects, including harm to your kidney and heart function.
5. Taking your medications less frequently, or stopping a medication too soon.
6. Taking your medications with or without food.
Read your instructions label and check with your pharmacist whether you should take your medication with or without food. Certain medications need to be taken with food to avoid stomach irritation, while others should be taken on an empty stomach to ensure that they are fully absorbed by your body.
7. Not telling your doctor and pharmacist about over-the-counter medications that you routinely use.
8. Not understanding the dangers of certain food and medication combinations.
9. Not using a medication schedule.
10. Not understanding the label instructions.
11. Driving or operating machinery while using certain medications.
12. Not sharing your allergy information or special treatment needs with your clinician and pharmacist.
13. Not knowing what your medication is indicated for (the reason for taking it).
14. Obtaining information about your medications from inaccurate sources.
15. Not knowing the name(s) of your medication(s).
16. Not using a tablet organizer.
17. Shopping for medications online or overseas.
18. Taking other people’s medications.
Just because a medicine is safe and effective for others, it does not mean it is suitable for you to use. In most cases, medication prescriptions are individually tailored according to the patient’s diagnosis, age, weight, tolerance to the medicine, and several other factors. Sharing medications can lead to harm, or even death in some cases.
19. Keeping medicines under improper conditions.
20. Unsafe storage of your medications.
21. Not reporting side effects to your doctor and pharmacist.
22. Not “measuring” the dose correctly.
23. Not knowing the rules for medication packing during traveling.