The prevalence of prescription drugs in the United States has earned it the moniker “the prescription nation.” And it’s a well-deserved title. “Nearly 70% of Americans are taking at least one prescription drug, and more than half take two,” according to NerdWallet.com. “What’s more, about 20% of Americans use at least five prescription medications.” While many of these prescriptions are absolutely necessary and do a great deal to improve patients’ quality of life, mistakes can be made here and there. Here are some of the most common prescription medication mistakes and how to avoid them:
Taking Out Of Date Medications
Pharmaceutical packaging companies and packaging services carefully label all medications. All prescription medications also come with information sheets, describing the drug, the proper dosage, and other critical information. Keep these information sheets, and use them. Make sure the information coincides with medication labels and doctors’ instructions. Holding onto bottles, labels, and/or information sheets — even if you end up storing medications in a pill box or pill organization — can help you remember exactly how long to take a particular medication and, in some cases, help you determine what medications are out of date.
Taking Certain Liberties
Bottle packaging designs and blister packaging services are helping to address a very serious problem. Patients often take too much their medications both intentionally and unintentionally. Some people are likely to take an extra painkiller, reasoning that it will work better than the one or two prescribed. On the other hand, many others take more pills than necessary because they simply cannot remember that they have already taken them that day. Blister packaging is particularly effective, making it simple for Americans to visualize just how many pills they have taken and when.
Americans rely on prescription medications — and more often than not, we rely on more than one. To keep medications safe and effective, make certain prescriptions are up to date and always take them as directed.