Know Your Meds

Organization: Live Health Topics:

What To Do With All Those Pill Bottles On The Counter

The collection of plastic containers has gathered in the corner of the kitchen counter, some are white, many are orange and others are green. Your eyes scan the yellow highlighted labels; instructing you to a variety of requirements, “Drink plenty of water,” “Take two pills, three times a day,” “Do not operate heavy machinery,” “Take with food.”

Even though you’ve been on your meds for days, you still double check your labels every morning. You still stop as the questions begin to run through your head…When was the last time you took your meds? Is this pill daily or as needed? Have I eaten?

This is the scenario that many people experience. The reality is as people get prescribed more and more medications it gets more and more confusing to follow each medication’s guidelines and regiments. There are no age or gender biases with medicine management, anyone can be affected. For this reason, patients need to know their meds, understand the instructions and more importantly feel comfortable enough with their health care providers to ask questions.

Before leaving the pharmacy it’s important to have a clear understanding of a medication’s instructions. Patients should be counseled on every newly prescribed drug. Some pharmacies, like the ones at Long Beach Memorial, offer direct phone lines for patients to contact a pharmacist if they ever have any questions, concerns or issues.

Tips for Taking Meds

  • Be knowledgeable of what symptoms or conditions the medication is for.
  • Understand the instructions for taking the medication.
  • Know the side effects that can result from taking the medication.
  • Keep in mind the strength of your prescription (i.e., 10 mg).
  • Make sure the medicine is the same if it is a refill.
  • Properly dispose of medications that are expired or that you no longer take.

Tips for Managing Multiple Meds

One of the most important things that you can do is keep a current list of all your prescriptions. Laminate it and carry a wallet size list with you in case of an emergency and for your doctor appointments; this way there is less risk for drug interactions. When developing your list be sure to include:

  • Why you take that particular medication.
  • What dosage has been prescribed (the dose is better than the number of tablets).
  • How often you take it.

Know Your Meds

  • When it was prescribed.
  • The name of the medication.
  • If you have trouble remembering when or if you have taken your pills, a 7-day medication organizer can help.
  • Medication charts can help you take your meds on time throughout the day.

Never doubt your confusion with your meds. If you don’t understand your meds, feel effects from taking your medications or have any concerns contact your medical provider, or if it’s serious call 9-1-1.

Disposing Meds

Properly disposing your expired medications is extremely important. Medicines that are not properly disposed of can be easily used by youth and teens and can be harmful to waterways. 

Long Beach Memorial pharmacy services are conveniently located on the medical campus for patients, staff and the community. The pharmacy services include: free local delivery, free mail order, medical supplies, nutritional products and online refills. You do not need to be a patient or discharged patient to receive Long Beach Memorial’s great pharmacy care and services - anyone can take advantage of these services.