Are your cabinets overflowing with medicine bottles? Join the club — the average American fills more than 12 prescriptions annually. Add in vitamins/supplements, and it’s easy to get lost in a maze of pills. Avoid a wrong turn with these precautions:
- Make sure your doctor and pharmacist know exactly which prescription and nonprescription items you take
- Follow your doctor’s orders — be sure you clearly understand dosing instructions and why you’re taking the medication
- Avoid storing pills in extreme heat or cold, as this lessens their effectiveness
- Keep medication out of the reach of children (and pets); call poison control if anyone swallows something they shouldn’t have
- Human error is always possible, so it’s smart to double check that you receive the correct medicine; also, pills occasionally change shape or size — check with your pharmacist if you notice a difference
- Read the prescription enclosure for potential side effects and drug interaction warnings
- Set a reliable schedule so you won’t forget to take your medication — a daily pill organizer can help.