- Keep an up-to-date list of all medicines a person
takes. These include prescriptions, over-the-counter products, vitamins
- Share the list with all doctors and pharmacists to
check for drug interactions. Surprisingly, even herbal supplements can interact
with a prescription drug. Be sure to always check with a doctor before
adding vitamins or herbal supplements to daily prescription medicines.
- If possible, use the same pharmacy to fill all
prescriptions. This also helps with avoiding negative drug interactions.
- Keep all medicines in their original containers to
avoid confusion with the type of medicine and dosage. This is especially
important when acetaminophen is an ingredient because taking too much can
cause liver damage. Many pain relievers and sleeping products include
acetaminophen and labels may not be clear as to what they contain.
- Always read the label prior to taking any medicine,
and never try to take it in the dark or without glasses to avoid mistaking
medicines or taking an overdose.
- Follow all medicine dosage instructions to avoid
taking too much.
- Develop a system for medicine tracking to help show
when it has been taken, such as a check-off list or medicine journal. This
helps to ensure the medicine has been taken also helps prevent extra doses
from being taken accidentally.
- Dispose of all medicines that are no longer needed,
such as expired medicines and prescriptions that have been discontinued.
This helps to prevent senior adults from taking the wrong medicine or
drugs interacting with each other. Many communities have collection events
or drop boxes for safe disposal of medicines, so ask your local pharmacist
for suggestions. To
find out when and where the next collection event will be, click on one of
these links: http://www.medicationcleanout.com
Some police departments have full-time medication dropboxes so you can go
by anytime to drop off those unused or expired medicines. To find one near you, just click on the
link below: http://www.americanmedicinechest.com/.
- Never take someone else’s medicine. Even if it could
be beneficial, it might interact with a person’s other medicines. Plus,
taking other people’s prescriptions is illegal!
- Be very cautious when considering ordering medicines
over the Internet. It is often impossible to tell if they are coming from
another country, and the ingredients may not be what are claimed. This
especially applies to supplements that make claims for “miracle cures.”
Ask family members or a pharmacist to investigate the site before sending
money or taking products obtained online.
- Keep the Poison Help toll-free number handy for poison
information and emergencies. If a poisoning is suspected, call the Poison
Center at 1-800-222-1222.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
While many senior adults are not sure why they should be concerned about poison centers and poison prevention, the average amount of medicine – prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin and herbal – consumed by seniors continues to increase. At the same time, calls to the Texas Poison Center Network about seniors also have steadily increased for the past few years, and many of these calls concern medicines.
These tips can help keep senior adults poison-safe:
For more information about seniors and medicine safety, visit our website at www.poisoncontrol.org or call the Texas Poison Center Network at 1-800-222-1222.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
There are many myths when it comes to poisonings. While some things may seem harmless, they can actually be quite dangerous. In this blog the Texas Poison Center Network breaks down a few of the myths and back it up with the actual facts. So what are some myths and facts about poisonings and prevention?
Myth #1: Putting products up high will prevent poisonings.
As children grow, they learn to climb on chairs and counters. Putting poisons in locked cabinets will be more useful after children reach the climbing stage. So while keeping dangerous products up high out of reach is a good idea, it is best to keep them locked up too.
Myth #2: Use of “natural” products prevents poisonings.
Plants are natural and can be poisonous. Natural home remedies and health food products may also be hazardous to children and adults in certain situations. Just because something is natural does not mean it is safe. Make sure to check with a doctor or call poison control first if you are unsure about using a product.
Myth #3: Children won’t eat bad-tasting things.
Some children are more adventurous in their eating habits than others, but many children will still eat yucky things such as dirt, trash, feces, batteries, coins, mothballs, spit tobacco, roaches, and more. Keep this in mind and always keep your eyes on your children and keep dangerous items stored high and locked up.
Myth #4: All poisonings can be prevented by locking up poisons.
Latches and locks are a great way to reduce access to hazards. But, many poisonings occur when a product is out for use or display. Examples include cleaning day, using scented plug-ins, holiday plants, lamp oil, cigarettes, mixed drinks, taking medication, etc. If you are worried that someone you know might have been accidentally poisoned, please contact a poison center for help at 1-800-222-1222.
Myth #5: It’s safe to eat plants that are eaten by birds and animals.
Not every species can eat the same plants safely
Myth #6: Some medicine caps are child-proof and kids can’t get into them.
Difficult-to-open caps are called child-resistant closures. There is no such thing as child-proof. Child resistant means that they simply take longer to open, in the hopes that an adult will discover what a child is doing before the cap is pried off. Never leave medication where a child can access it.
Myth #7: All poisoning cases should be treated in the hospital.
This is probably the biggest myth of all! Did you know most poisonings can be treated at home with the guidance of experts on the poison center hotline? It’s true! Most unintentional poisonings can be treated at home saving you time and money.
The Texas Poison Center Network is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us anytime, anywhere for your poison emergency at 1-800-222-1222.