Medication Safety - The DO's and DO NOT's

Organize

  1. DO make a list of all of your medications (use the worksheet provided in the My Contacts/My History section of this guidebook) including any vitamins, herbal supplements, and homeopathic remedies and note the dosage of each. List these medications on your medication identification card and carry that card with you at all times.
  2. DO take your medication as prescribed by your physician at the prescribed number, at the proper time and for the correct length of time.
  3. DO store all of your medications in their original containers, away from moisture and heat. DO NOT store medication in a bathroom medicine cabinet subjected to steam.
  4. DO ask your pharmacist if a larger type is available and/or for recommendations to help read the information if you have difficulty understanding prescription labels/handouts.

Routine

  1. DO establish a routine of taking your medications at the same time each day.
  2. DO take care to understand the direction of your medications. If you are unsure, ask a member of your TCI care team to clarify the instructions.
  3. DO dispose of medicine when finished or outdated by flushing in the commode.
  4. DO retake your medication if you vomit and can see the complete pill in the vomitus, but only after nausea/vomiting subsides.

Refills

  1. DO get your prescription refilled in plenty of time—DO NOT wait until your supply is gone to get your refill. Please call your pharmacy 24-48 hours in advance when you need a prescription refill.
  2. DO remember that narcotic (pain) medications cannot be telephoned to the pharmacy. The prescription must be mailed to the pharmacy or obtained from your physician’s office. These prescriptions cannot be filled by your pharmacist after seven days from the time the prescription was written.
  3. DO understand that non-prescription drugs are medications available without a physician’s prescription. Like any other medication, non-prescription drugs should be taken with the utmost care.

Safety

  1. DO let your TCI care team know all medications you are taking, including all over-the-counter pills, vitamins, and herbs. This will minimize the risk of taking duplicate medications or unwanted interactions between certain drugs (called contraindications).
  2. DO follow-up with a member of your TCI care team if the medication you receive is different in any way from what you are expecting.
  3. DO promptly report to a member of you TCI care team if you experience any side effects or unusual reactions from the prescribed medication.
  4. DO ask your pharmacist or TCI care team any questions you have regarding your medications.
    DO keep all medicine out of the reach of children.

DO NOT

  1. DO NOT take more of your medication than ordered without first checking with your physician.
  2. DO NOT take a friend or relative’s medication if your supply is depleted. Medications may appear the same but may be a different dosage.
  3. DO NOT give your medications to friends, spouse, children, or family members. What is good for you may be harmful to them.
  4. DO NOT take antacids within one hour of other medications. Doing so may impair the absorption of those medications.
Call your TCI care team if you:
  • Experience any side effects or unusual reactions to the medication.
  • Experience any uncontrolled pain, nausea, vomiting, or other symptoms.
  • Miss a dose of medication.
  • Are too nauseated to take your medications.