Aspirus | Aspire | Fall 2018

THEY keep our bodies working, help us feel better and sometimes even stop health problems before they start. Medicines are marvelous. But to get the most out of them, you have to take them safely. These tips can help: w w Keep your health care providers informed. Some medicines aren’t safe when taken together. Anytime you’re prescribed a medicine, be sure your provider knows all of the other medications you’re taking, including herbals and other over-the-counter products. Using the same pharmacy for all of your medications may also help you avoid dangerous interactions. w w Get to know your medicine. Be clear about what it is, why you take it, and when and how to take it correctly. You should also ask your doctor or pharmacist if there are any foods or activities you should avoid while using the medicine. Don’t hesitate to speak up if you have questions or something doesn’t seem right. w w Follow instructions exactly. It’s smart to read the label before taking each dose. Don’t chew, crush or break apart pills unless your doctor says it’s OK. If you’re taking liquid medicine, be sure to use the dosing device that comes with it. And while it’s not always easy to get your little one to Jessica Bessner, PharmD GETANSWERS For any questions or concerns about your medications, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. To find a provider or pharmacy at an Aspirus location near you, go online to or call the Aspirus Customer Contact Center at 800.474.4707 . 5TIPS for medicine safety Make themost of your meds Suggestions for smart and safe use take their medication as prescribed, parents and caregivers should never refer to medicine as candy to get their children to take it. “It’s beneficial to educate children on the differences between the two because so many medications can easily be mistaken for candy with their bright-colored coatings and fun shapes,” said Jessica Bessner, PharmD, director of pharmacy at Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital & Clinics. “Teaching them the difference from the very beginning can prevent accidental ingestion and poisoning.” w w Be aware of possible side effects. They sometimes occur. So it’s helpful 1 2 3 4 5 When you go to your doctor ’ s office, the pharmacy or the hospital, bring a list or a bag with all your medicines. When you go to the pharmacy, make sure your medicine is what the doctor ordered. Ask how to use the medicine correctly. Ask about possible side effects. Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Qualit y Ask questions about your medicines: “What is it? Why do I need to take it?” to ask your doctor or pharmacist what to watch for—and what to do if problems arise. w w Don’t share medicines. Only a doctor can decide what’s safe for you or someone else. Sources: Institute for Safe Medication Practices; U.S. Food and Drug Administration 13