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Medicine Cabinet Management:

  1. Keep an up-to-date personal medical record listing all of your OTC (over the counter) and prescription medications, vitamins, supplements, and herbs.  This record should list the product name, why you take it, what dose you take and how often, how you normally take it (e.g. every morning, with food), and the prescribing doctor's name.  Bring this with you to each physician visit, especially any emergency room visits.
  2. Read the product label and any patient information carefully before taking any new medication, prescription or OTC.
  3. Remember that OTC medicines, herbs and supplements all have possible side effects and may interact with other OTC medicines or prescriptions.  Think carefully about possible risks and drug interactions before taking any medications.  If you have any questions, ask your physician or pharmacist.
  4. Take all medications-prescription and OTC-in their prescribed or recommended dosage only.
  5. Throw out medicines that have passed their expiration date- even if it is a whole bottle.
  6. Throw out "left-over" prescription medications from previous illnesses.
  7. Don't take another family member's prescription medicine without first speaking with your physician.
  8. Keep all medicines-prescription and OTC-out of the reach of children.
  9. Keep medicines in the location best suited for using them properly.
  10. Store all medicines according to instructions.
  11. Keep a separate, portable, complete first aid kit.
  12. If you are pregnant or nursing, ask your physician or pharmacist before taking any prescription or OTC medication.  If you might be pregnant, take a pregnancy test before taking any prescription or non-prescription medication that has not proven to be safe in pregnancy.
  13. Keep updated medical records. You should have on file at home a copy of recent test results, including any blood or other diagnostic tests (x-rays, EKG, etc.), hospital discharge summaries, or surgical or pathology reports.

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Created: 10/17/2000  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

 Throw out medicines that have passed their expiration date- even if it is a whole bottle. 

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