2007-09-15 / News

Physicians provide medicaton safety advice

COLUMBUS - The use of medications is a critical factor in staying healthy. It can bring relief, but if used improperly can also cause harm. It is important to follow certain safety guidelines when taking any medications, over-thecounter (OTC) or prescription.

"The most common mistake people make is taking too much of a medication at once or too often or exceeding the daily dose," said Renee Markovich, M.D., a family physician from Akron, Ohio.

Always take medicines exactly as prescribed or according to the dosing instructions for OTC medicines. Take the proper amount in the correct intervals and finish all the doses if appropriate.

"In order to not create resistant bacteria, it is important to take all the antibiotic prescribed. This is in order to make sure all the infection has totally cleared," said Markovich.

Also, follow recommendations such as "take with food" as this can influence the absorption and effectiveness of the medication.

Make sure that all your physicians are informed of all the medications you are taking.

"OTC medication can cause serious interactions with prescription medications. Also, some OTC medications are the same as prescription thus you would be getting a double dose. This also goes for herbal andmineral supplements," said Markovich.

Storing medications properly is also an important factor in using them safely. Although the bathroom may be a convenient location, it may not be best because of the humidity and moisture from the tub or shower.

Store medications in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and out of the reach of children, or according to the instructions on the bottle.

Finally, never take medication that has been prescribed to another person. Even if it seems the symptoms are the same, it is important to be evaluated by a doctor.

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