Managing your Medications - Our Trusted Tips
When it comes to taking medication, it is easy to fall into the habit of poor management. With two in five Australians aged 50 or older, and two in three Australians aged 75 and older taking more than five different medications, the potential for confusion and harmful side-effects drastically increases.
Every year 140,000 Australians end up in hospital with medication related health issues. Out of all these hospital visits, 69 per cent of them could’ve been avoided with proper medication management.
So, what you can do to ensure you’re properly managing your medication?
Get your medications reviewed regularly
Every six to 12 months, it is advised that you organise a time to see your GP and pharmacist to go over your medication and re-evaluate your dosages.
Your GP and pharmacist will be able to assess your health history, your blood levels and any reported side effects to ensure you’re on the right medications and that you’re taking the proper amount.
Funded by the Australian Government, you are also entitled to a home medicines review, which enables a pharmacist and GP to directly assess you and your pharmaceutical needs in the comfort of your own home.
If you would like to know more about this service, you can click here. We are also here to help set up these reviews through Newcastle Hunter Community Health.
An important thing you can take away from a consultation with your GP or one of our staff members is information about your medication.
Knowing the name, appearance, storage requirements and side effects of your medication is well worth noting down and keeping in mind. Putting together a record of this information will also help if you start to notice negative side-effects that affect your daily life.
All medication bottles have useful information printed on the packet/bottle, be sure to read these and ask a health professional if anything confuses you.
Safely dispose of out-of-date medication
Our planet and our bodies are very important, which is why the safe disposal of medication should be a high priority.
We advise that out-of-date or unused medicines are taken to your pharmacy, where they will then be safely disposed. The Return Unwanted Medicine scheme will pick up unwanted pharmaceuticals from pharmacies across Australia and will safely dispose of these products.
Holding onto medication is not advised, as medication that is out-of-date can be less effective and can cause serious harm.
Use correct storage
Every medication we take is made up of a selection of chemical properties. Each of these chemicals have different reactions to certain environments, which is why it is important to follow the storage instructions specified on the bottle/packet of your medication.
Our recommendation is to keep your medication in its original packaging (unless made up into a blister pack), store away from direct sunlight and water in a cool, dry place and well away from the reach of children.
At Newcastle and Hunter Community Health we are dedicated to helping you understand more about your medication and how you can manage this in the most efficient way.
There are many ways we can help you, from organising a GP or pharmacist to walk you through your medications, organising blister packs and/or giving you the relevant information you need on your medication.
If you’d like to talk more about your options, please give us a call today or we can pop by for a one-on-one consultation, so you can be on your way to better understanding medication management.