Thursday, June 7, 2012

Maintaining a Healthy Medicine Cabinet

Senior Thursday

As we age, it is a fact of life that our health changes.  Some of us have more illnesses than others.  Some suffer from illnesses such as diabetes and arthritis earlier than others.  But by the time we reach our 70s, we are probably going to be on some sort of medication. 

Being on medication brings its own problems.  One of these is your medicine cabinet.  It contains health hazards if you aren't careful.  Here are some tips for keeping you and your medicine cabinet, and YOU, healthy.

·         Never take any prescription medication that is not yours.

·         Never take a new medication (prescription or over the counter) without consulting your physician.  There could be serious interactions with medications you are already taking.

·         Never take expired medication.  While some are still good for a few months after the expiration date, others can cause serious illness, or even death.  Also, they may not be as effective as they were when fresh.

·         Never double up on medication if you miss a dose unless your physician okays it.

·         Have the basics on hand at all times—first aid supplies and pain relievers.

·         Keep a paper and pen handy to write down when you run out of something and need to replenish.

·         Stock up on seasonal items (like sunscreen or flu medication) before the season so you have it when you need it.

·         Keep your medications within easy reach—especially those you take daily.  Daily meds should be within arm's reach.  Other less-used items can be stored higher.

·         If a medication falls out of its container and you find it later on the floor, don't take it.  It may be something other than you think, or it may be expired.

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