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Various types of medicines; use them safely

Do you think you need all the medicines that you are taking?

If you feel healthy, will you stop taking your medicines?

You may try this questionnaire to know whether you have full benefits of the medicines that you are taking.

Why do I need to take a lot of medicines?

Medicines given to you are to treat your health problem. Different medicines are needed to treat different diseases.

Senior citizens are often facing more chronic health problem compared to young ones. The common diseases among senior citizens are diabetes, high blood pressure and heart problem.

Senior citizens often have various types of health problem at one time, thus, it is common if they have to take more than one type of medicines. As we know, medicines in the market has no magical power to treat all types of diseases altogether. Therefore, every disease requires different medicine for the treatment.

Why do you use two types of medicines? Is your health increasingly affected?

Blood pressures were controlled by a few types of system in your body. Each high blood pressure medication will act on different pressure control system.

When you start taking medicine to reduce your blood pressure, the medicines will start acting on one of the control systems in your body. Then, this action may cause your body to use other systems to raise your blood pressure again.

As a result you may need to take the second high blood pressure medication.

Actually, both medicines that are given to you have different mechanism of action in your body. Nevertheless, the impact of the medicines is to decrease and regulate the blood pressure. The doctor’s decision is good to sustain your health.

The Right Way to Take the Medicine

Actually, it is not easy to take various types of medicine properly. Sometimes, it is hard to remember the indication for every type of medicine, how and when each medicines needs to be taken. The following tips can help you to simplify the way to take your medicine:

  • Check label on medicine container before taking the medicine to ensure it is the right medicine and for the right patient.
  • Take medicine according to the instruction ensuring the dose, time are taken correctly.
  • Try to create a schedule on taking medicine and make it as a routine.
  • Do not take more or less than the prescribed amount of any medicines.
  • Check the expiry date of medicine and avoid from taking medicine that exceeded expiry date.
  • Do not forget to read and keep any written information supplied together with medicine.

How can I manage my medicine?

Below are few steps which you can follow to help you manage your medicines:

  • Keep the list /chart of all prescription medicnines and general medicine that you take. Keep a written chart that shows which medicines to take and when to take them is another good way to stay organized. Include the name of the medicine, the dose, when you take it and what the pill looks like. Also mark any special instructions, such as whether it should be taken with food.
  • Duplicate the list and schedule, then paste them on your the refrigerator’s door or medicine cabinet, another copy in your wallet/purse. An example of the written chart is illustrated below.

    For your use

    Medicine Name
    Colour/ Pattern Date
    xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx

    Example the checklist / schedule of your medicine

  • Review record of medicines every time you have any appointment with your doctor and when the doctor adds new medicine. Get help from your doctor/ pharmacist to give written instructions on how to take medicines correctly or any other important information.
  • Do not wait until medicines are completely finished before getting new medicine supplies.

Tips Use the Medicine Safely

  • Update your list of all medicines periodically including medicine with prescription, general medicine, vitamin, herbal products and other nutrition product. Make sure to bring the list always with you.
  • Always check and ensure all medicines are correct before leaving the pharmacy counter. Ask your pharmacist to explain the information on the medicine label.
  • Some medicines requires to be swallowed. Discuss with your pharmacist before cutting or crushing the open tablet or capsule. This action can may affect the effectiveness of the medicines.
  • Always refer to your doctor/ pharmacist before taking any new drug including medicine that is bought without prescription. Always ensure the new medicine do not interacts with the existing medicine. Natural base products such as herb could also interact with your medicine.
  • All medicines must be kept in a suitable place in your house (the medicines cannot be kept in the kitchen or in the bathroom). Heat and humidity can influence the potency of the medicines.
  • Medicine must be kept in the original container, should be clearly labelled to avoid any confusion.
  • The medicines which need to be kept in the refrigerator should be kept separately from other goods materials (e.g. food, vegetable). Try to keep the medicines in a separate container and placed it in a designated area in the refrigerator.
  • Oral medication such as tablet and syrup need to be kept separately from external medicines such as balm and cream.
  • Keep all medicines away from children.
  • Dispose all unused and expired medicines properly.
  • Never share your medicine with others.

If you follow the above steps, medication mistakes can be prevented. Therefore, you must not delay your action!

Last Reviewed : 21 July 2017
Translator : Nordiana bt. Shariff
Accreditor : Munira bt. Muhammad