Medicines can be dangerous if used incorrectly or if wrong amounts are taken. A common cause of medication poisoning happens as a result of a dosing error (taking too much, taking within a close time frame, taking the wrong medicine or administering medicine the wrong way, e.g. ear drops being placed in the eyes). Drug interactions are another cause of medication poisoning. Drug interactions occur when medication interacts with certain food, herbal product, alcohol or another medication. For example, taking over- the-counter (OTC) medications with prescription drugs can cause serious problems; also, taking medications with certain foods can affect the way the medication is supposed to work. Check out the following tips to decrease the chances of you or your loved ones from being poisoned by medicines.
Tips to Prevent Medication Poisoning:
- Store medicine and vitamins in locked cabinets out of the reach of children.
- Keep medicine and vitamins in the original container.
- Use child resistant packaging and replace caps tightly.
- Throw out expired or leftover medicines and those with missing labels.
- Always read labels before taking or giving medicine; check the name, expiration date and directions.
- Tell the doctor about any medications including vitamins that you are taking.
- Never take medicine that belongs to someone else, even if you have the same symptoms.
- If you suspect any medication errors or have any questions call the GPC at 1-800-222-1222