Safe Medicine Dosage

How to Ensure Safe Medicine Dosage

Sticking to your medication routine means taking your medications as prescribed – the right dose, at the right time, in the right way, and frequency. Improper management of medicine as prescribed by a doctor or instructed by a pharmacist could lead to your disease getting worse, hospitalization, or even death. Managing multiple medicines can be challenging, and it is not uncommon to make mistakes while taking them or missing them.

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Here are common mistakes you might make when taking medicines:

  • Forget to take medicines: Sometimes, people forget to take their medicine at the right time. It is important to stick to the schedule prescribed by your doctor.
  • Stopping medicines too soon: If you feel better, it doesn't mean you can stop taking your medicines. You should finish the entire course your doctor has prescribed to make sure you are completely healed.
  • Not taking medicines with Food or Water: Some medicines work better if you take them with food or water. Always follow the instructions about when and how to take your medicines.
  • Taking the wrong dosage: Always take the exact amount of medicine your doctor has recommended. Do not take more or less than what is prescribed.
  • Not understanding instructions: If you are confused about how to take your medicines, ask your doctor or pharmacist. It is essential to know the right way to use your medicines.
  • Combining medicines inappropriately: Some medicines do not mix well with others. Let your doctor know about all the medicines, even over-the-counter ones, that you are taking.
  • Drinking Alcohol with Medicines: Alcohol can cause problems when mixed with certain medicines. Check with your doctor before having alcohol while on medication.
  • Using Expired Medicines: Do not use medicines that have passed their expiration date. They may not work properly, and it could be unsafe.
  • Self-Diagnosis and Self-Treatment: It is not a good idea to self-diagnose or take medicines without asking a doctor. Always seek professional advice.
  • Ignoring Side Effects: If you notice something unusual after taking your medicine, tell your doctor. Do not ignore any side effects, even if they seem small/ minor.
  • Sharing Medicines: Never share your prescription medicines with others, and do not take someone else's medicines.

Tips to manage safe dosage and schedule:

  • Track your medicine schedule: To ensure the right medicine, at the right time, in the right doses, keep a list of your medicines with the timetable of in-take handy. Set reminders for yourself on your phone, use a pill box, or schedule medication doses around your daily routines. If you are going out, carry a day's medicine with you.
  • Check your prescription: Check the label to ensure the name and grammage match with the prescribed dosage. Save your prescription/ medicine schedule on your phone.
  • What if you miss a dose: Take the missed dose as soon as you remember within a few hours of the original schedule. If it's close to the time for your next dose, do not double up by taking the missed medicines as this can increase the risk of side effects or overdose.
  • When in different time zones: If you are traveling overseas to a different time zone keep the same time interval till you gradually adjust to the new time zone routine.
  • Talk to your doctor: If you're unsure what to do, or if you missed multiple doses, talk to your doctor for guidance.

Globally as per WHO, medication errors contribute to nearly 50% of overall avoidable harm. To stay safe with your medicines, talk openly with your doctor or pharmacist, follow their advice, and don't hesitate to ask questions if something is unclear. Also, keep up to date with the best practices and increase patient safety.

An illustrative schedule for current medication:

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Tips for Medication Safety: