1. Be actively involved in understanding health conditions and prescribed medications:

  • Talk with the healthcare providers
  • Ask questions
  • Read trustworthy, reputable online sites
  • Join health support groups
  • It is important that everyone involved in the care of an individual is active in understanding their condition, their medication and all the options available to treat them.

2. Have medication and/or a list of medications available at all times to show health professionals in case an accident occurs.

3. Write a medication list that includes:

  • Names of all medications (including any over the counter medications, dietary supplements and herbal remedies)
  • The doctor who prescribed each prescription medication
  • The purpose of each medication or the symptoms the medication is supposed to treat
  • Size and frequency of dosage
  • Should they be taken on a full or empty stomach?
  • When repeat prescriptions are required
  • Be sure to update the list if taking something new, a medicine is stopped, or the dose is changed. GPs and pharmacists should review all medications regularly. Remind them of any allergies or problems encountered with certain medicines.
  • Don’t stop taking prescribed medicine without checking with them first.

Avoiding Medication Problems

Know the following about each drug taken:

  • Medication name, exact spelling, purpose and whether it is the brand name or a generic substitution
  • The medication’s side effects and interactions and what to do if they occur
  • How and when to take the medication (i.e. on an empty stomach, after meals or at bed time etc.)
  • How long the medication is to be continued and if any blood tests are required for periodic monitoring
  • What to do if you miss or forget a dosage
  • How to store your medications (in a refrigerator or at room temperature etc.)
  • Read the information leaflets provided in the packaging of the medicine. These provide important information to help understand the medication and avoid problems.

For example:

  • What the medicine has been prescribed for
  • How to take the medicine correctly
  • Possible side effects and any interaction with other medications or food substances
  • Interaction with alcohol
  • Information on who shouldn’t take the medicine
  • Serious side effects that mean medication should be stopped
  • Information as to who is at an increased risk of suffering side effects
  • Storage instructions

 

It is strongly advised that you attend a practical first aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency. Hot Response First Aid training provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. Hot Response First Aid is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information.