Managing Medications

by Lois Etienne on March 4, 2013

in Caregiver Support,Senior Health and Safety

Medication ManagementWhen you or your senior loved one returns home from the hospital, you are likely to come home with several new medications. Making sure that these new medications are taken correctly and don’t create any adverse effects with existing medications is vital to ensuring recovery.

Medication mismanagement is one of the leading problems that can send you back to the hospital. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adverse drug events cause over 700,000 emergency department visits each year and nearly 120,000 of those patients are hospitalized for further treatment.

There are many ways to help you keep track of your medications:

1. Examine all current medicines to make sure they have not expired or are due for refill.

2. Prepare a list of all the medications, including the new ones. Write down the name of the medication, the dosage, the prescribing doctor, the directions, and the pharmacy. If it’s not already being done, make sure to get all of your senior loved one’s prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy, so they can watch out for potential drug interactions and advise you to speak with your doctor before an adverse reaction takes place.

3. Make sure to get refills if it’s time. The discharge plan of care should have the old and the new medications that the doctor wants you to take. If you believe the hospital doctor has removed you from an important medication, call your primary physician immediately.

4. Now, make sure you take your medication as directed. Pay special attention to dosing directions including whether the medication should be taken with food or on an empty stomach, should be taken in the morning or at night and how to reduce side effects such as nausea, dry mouth or constipation.

5. The last important medication management task is to watch for and take note of any reactions or side effects you are encountering, changes in bowel movements, balance, mental status, pain, nausea, fever, trouble breathing, etc.

If you do notice any of these symptoms, it is vital that you contact your healthcare provider immediately to help prevent further, more serious complications from developing.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: