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By Jaden Jimenez

June 13, 2014 - The FDA has put out a consumer update to ensure safety among older adults when taking medication. The FDA strongly advises adults on medication to not prescribe your own doses, each person is different and should be dosed appropriate to the person by your healthcare provider. The FDA has also posted other safety tips when taking medication:

1.) Write down a list.

Write down what medication you’re taking and keep the list with you. Consider giving a copy to a friend or loved one that you trust—an important step especially in case of emergency and when you’re traveling.

Record the medicine’s brand name, if applicable, and generic name. Also write down how often and what dosage you take. (For instance, one pill daily, 300 mg.)

2.) Be cautious of drug interactions.

As you age, you’re at higher risk for drug interactions as you may be taking more than one medication.

Interactions can occur when:

·         One drug affects how another drug works;

·         A medical condition you have makes a certain drug potentially harmful;

·         A food or non-alcoholic drink reacts with a drug;

·         A medicine interacts with an alcoholic drink.

Learn which interactions are possible. You can do this by carefully reading drug facts labels on over-the-counter drugs and the information that comes with your prescription medications, and by reviewing any special instructions with your healthcare provider.

Some drugs should not be taken with alcohol, as symptoms such as loss of coordination and memory loss can result. If you’re seeing multiple health care providers, tell each one about all of your medications and supplements. You also can ask your pharmacist about potential interactions.

3.) Review Medications with Your Healthcare Provider

Schedule at least one annual review of your medications with your healthcare provider to confirm which medications are still necessary and which you can stop taking (if any).

If a certain medication seems out of your budget, ask your healthcare provider whether there is a cheaper, and still effective, alternative.

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