Medication problems plague people of all ages as well as families, caregivers, and the entire health care system. Medication errors among older people cost about $177 billion each year. If such errors were counted as a disease, they would be the fifth leading cause of death for Americans over 65. Here are some guidelines to help you to be smart about your prescription drug, over the counter medication, vitamin and supplement use, including safe disposal and storage of all medications, which will protect loved ones and our environment!
Ask your doctor and pharmacist questions
What is the medication supposed to do?
Why is this the right medication for my condition and age?
Will this medicine work safely with ALL my other medicine?
What are the side effects and potential risks for misuse?
Set a personal medication routine
Make a list of all your medicines and the time you are taking them.
Be aware of your body
Report any physical, emotional, and mental changes to your doctor immediately.
Do NOT share medications with anyone.
Lock and store medications in a safe place.
Safely dispose of unused meds. The City of Tucson and Pima County provide permanent prescription drug drop boxes. DON’T put them in the trash or flush them down the toilet!
»Dispose-a-med info on City of Tucson website
»Dispose-a-med info on Pima County website
Call AZ Poison Control Center 24/7 with any questions about your medication: 1-800-222-1222
The BeMedSmart program at Pima Council on Aging (PCOA) aims to raise awareness of the dangers of misuse of medications in older adults.