Prescription for Safety
Medication safety is important for everyone, but especially older adults. Many take multiple medications prescribed by more than one doctor or filled at more than one pharmacy. Older patients are more likely than the general population to experience adverse drug effects, including falls, depression, confusion, hallucinations, and malnutrition.
Here are some simple strategies to prevent dangerous—even fatal—drug interactions and adverse events:
- Keep a record of all prescription and nonprescription medications you take and share it with your health care team and pharmacists.
- With the approval of your health care provider, take your medications at a set time each day (e.g., at breakfast or bedtime).
- If you take medications throughout the day, set a timer as a reminder.
- Post a checklist on your refrigerator and check off medications as you take them.
- Place your pill bottles in a prominent location (out of children’s reach, of course).
- Use daily or weekly pillboxes.
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