If you or a loved one are taking prescription drugs, it is important to use them safely. Medications can do a lot of good, but they can also cause serious side effects and interact with each other in very dangerous ways.

As a Memphis drug injury lawyer, I’ve seen the worst happen. Here are some tips to help you avoid injury:

1. Communicate well with your doctors and health care providers.

Before your next doctor’s appointment, write down all the medications you currently take or have taken recently. Include prescription and non-prescription drugs. Take the list with you to all of your medical appointments (yes, even the dentist!) and make sure your doctors know that you are taking each medication.

Many people assume their health care providers have all their information. But details can get lost between different types of doctors, and mistakes can happen. Keep this list updated. Take special care in a hospital setting that you know every medication you are being given. Lastly, have a backup person ready to do this job in case of emergency.

 2. Do your research.

If your doctor recommends a new drug, don’t be afraid to do your own research. Some well-known drugs have led to serious injuries and lawsuits. The FDA regularly releases warnings and even recalls certain medications.

If you have any concerns about side effects, make sure to talk about them with your doctor.

 3. Use one pharmacist you trust.

Using multiple pharmacists for your medications can be confusing for them and for you. Keep one pharmacist who can track your prescription history and check for dangerous drug interactions.

If you need to use a different pharmacist because of travel or emergency, make sure to keep a record and update your primary pharmacist when you’re able.

 4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Ask your doctor for the name of the drug and what its purpose is. Make sure you know from your doctor how often to take the medication and what side effects to look out for. If taking the medication long-term, review your prescriptions at later doctor appointments and make sure no changes need to be made.

Your pharmacist can also answer a lot of questions and help you make a wise decision, especially if you are mixing more than one drug.

 5. Be cautious if mixing over-the-counter medication with prescription drugs.

Certain medications can be dangerous to take together or with certain foods or beverages. If you’re already taking a prescription drug but need another medication – even aspirin or cough medicine – ask your pharmacist if there might be any concerns. Read the labels of any non-prescription medication carefully and make sure not to exceed the dosage instructions.

 6. Keep the medications in a safe place at home.

Store all medicine out of sight and out of reach from children. Keep it separate from any other household goods that could be confused for it – including cleaning supplies, supplements, pet vitamins, and hygiene products.

Even when taking all of these precautions, sometimes the worst can still happen. 

If you or someone you care about has been injured by their medication, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us today to talk for free with an experienced dangerous drug attorney.