Be Proactive And Make A Medication List
When most people think about the term medication list, the first thought that comes to mind is prescription medications. And while having a full list of any prescribed drugs is important for patient advocacy, more information is required. For example, keeping a list of over-the-counter (OTC) medications and even supplements is critical. While relying on the expert advice of a physician or pharmacist is wise, those individuals can only provide assistance based on the information supplied. Keep reading to understand why medication lists are so critical.
1. Prevent unintended drug side effects
While side effects can potentially happen even if a patient isn’t consuming multiple medications or supplements, the chances of such an event happening are higher when several medications are taken simultaneously. For example, some medications shouldn’t be mixed with certain foods as the potency or efficacy can be impacted. Similarly, some OTC drugs can exacerbate side effects from prescription drugs, sometimes with dangerous consequences that require hospitalization.
2. Avoids confusion in an emergency
In a perfect world, a person could always act as a patient advocate in an emergency. But sometimes, injuries or illness can render a person unconscious or unable to communicate. Having an up-to-date medication list shared with healthcare providers and trusted friends or family ensures that if such an emergency occurs, all critical parties are aware of current medications and dosages to avoid interventions that could be harmful or fatal.
3. Ensures all medical providers are in sync
People relied on just one healthcare provider for all medical care in the past. But nowadays, many individuals have not only a primary care provider but multiple specialists to treat specific concerns. With multiple healthcare providers, the potential for juggling a variety of prescriptions is higher. Providing each individual with an updated medication list again ensures that all members are on the same page and are less likely to prescribe a medication or recommend a dosage that could be a problem based on other prescriptions that are taken.
Health and safety is a personal responsibility
While the medical community strives to be efficient and put patients first, individual responsibility is still important. Especially for people on multiple medications, have known conditions, or have several healthcare providers, a medication list is essential to prevent unexpected issues. Be proactive by not only creating a list but also reassessing as needed with medication or dosage updates. Remember to bring that list to all medical appointments and share that information with healthcare providers and trusted friends or family.