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Medication Guidelines

Along with stopping smoking, exercise and good nutrition, knowing about your medications and taking them as prescribed is beneficial to maintaining optimum health.

  •  preparations and any other over-the-counter remedies you use.
  • Know what each medication is for and what it is supposed to do. 
  • If your pharmacist does not provide you with an information sheet on your medications, ask for one.
  • Know what side effects can occur while taking them and what to do if they occur.
  • Know how often and when your medications should be taken. Inquire if it should be taken with food or on an empty stomach, with water or other fluid, before or after eating and, if so, how long? If in question, be sure to ask you doctor or pharmacist. Your pharmacist is very often a wealth of information regarding your medications and their possible interactions.
  • Oxygen is also a medication. Follow your doctor's instructions regarding its use. Discuss with him/her if and/or when it is okay to adjust your prescribed liter flow rate.
  • It is advisable to have all your prescriptions filled in one place. Drug interactions can be caught much more readily when your pharmacist knows all your medications.
  • Do not take non-prescription or over-the-counter medications without checking with your doctor first.
  • Take your medications exactly as prescribed and for as long as your doctor tells you. Never stop taking a medication without consulting your physician first.
  • Always complete a started antibiotic course even if you start to feel better. This can affect the medications ability to work effectively, causing a possible relapse or even more severe infection.
  • If you feel a medication needs adjusting, contact your doctor to discuss it first.
  • Use your inhaler and/or nebulizer medications as prescribed. Too many people wind up with breathing difficulty severe enough to send them to the emergency room or hospital just because they felt well and stopped using them.
  • If you take an oral steroid medication, make sure to tell any health care professional you may be seeing that you are on it. Make sure it is listed on all your medical records and notify everyone of its use before any type of surgery, however minor, and vaccinations.
  •  If you are on oral steroids for a prolonged period of time, wearing a medical alert identification tag of some sort is advisable.
  • Take any and all questions regarding your medications to your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Contact your doctor right away with any symptoms or side effects to any medication you may be taking.

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Last modified: June 17, 2002
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