Saturday, June 13, 2009

Health Tips for June 13

Health Tip: Have Unused Medications?

While flushing unwanted or expired medications down the toilet is common practice, Health Canada says this may harm the environment.

Here's how to properly dispose of medications:

  • Check to see if your pharmacy has a drug recycling program.
  • See if your municipality incinerates drugs. If so, take your unused medications to your municipality's waste disposal depot.
  • At least once a year, go through your medicine cabinet and remove prescription drugs that are old or that you no longer take. Dispose of them as suggested above.

Health Tip: Manage Medications Safely

To avoid the possibility of overdose, interaction or reaction, you must pay attention to how often, how and which medications you take.

The American Heart Association offers these suggestions to help you safely manage your medications:

  • Store medications in a cool, dark dry place. Don't store them in a bathroom or anywhere else that's prone to moisture.
  • Know which medications, including over-the-counter drugs, that shouldn't be taken at the same time.
  • Always take medications the way your doctor tells you to, and for as long as he or she prescribes.
  • Remind yourself to refill your prescriptions before you run out.
  • To better track your medications, get them all filled at one pharmacy.
  • Build a relationship with a pharmacist, and try to always consult with the same one. Don't be afraid to ask questions.
  • Tell each of your doctors about every medication you take, including any over-the-counter and herbal remedies.
  • Don't suffer through side effects. Speak with your doctor about potential ways to prevent them.
  • Don't split or crush any medication unless your pharmacist says it's OK; it can affect the way the medication works.

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