Medicine Safety Tips for Patients

Do you ever have questions on how to safely take your medicines?

Medication errors can happen in clinics and hospitals, pharmacies, and at home. Patients and healthcare providers, however, can work together to help prevent these errors.

Follow our patient Anna as she makes the most of visits with her healthcare team and pays attention to how to take her medicines at home.

For medicine safety tips that may help you take medicines more safely, keep reading and be sure to click on the blue boxes below for even more information.

Medicine Safety Tips For Patients by PfizerMEDICINE SAFETY TIPS FOR PATIENTSLEARN HOW TO USE YOUR MEDICINES MORE SAFELYMedicines improve the lives of many people. They can help us get healthy and stay healthy.For most patients, the benefits of taking a medicine are greater than the risks when used as prescribed.1 Risks include medication errors, which are preventable mistakes that may harm a patient or lead to inappropriate medication use.2These errors can happen in clinics and hospitals, in pharmacies and at homeThey cause almost 100,000 hospitalizations every year in the United States3Patients like you can help prevent medication errors.REMEMBER TO:4Talk with your healthcare team and ask questions about your health and medicinesRead medicine labels carefully and follow instructions on how to take your medicines more safelyBe an engaged partner in your health and the health of othersNEVER FORGET THAT YOU, THE PATIENT, ARE AN IMPORTANT MEMBER OF THE HEALTHCARE TEAM.5MEET ANNAAnna, our patient, manages her whole family’s medicines. She makes the most of visits with her healthcare team including:? Doctors ? Physician Assistants ? NursesMotherPharmacistsSonAT THE CLINICWhen Anna visits her new doctor, Dr. Chan, she brings a list of the medicines she takes and questions to ask her doctor.At the visit, Anna and her doctor share information. They build the best possible treatment plan for her.Anna leaves her doctor’s office with a prescription and information on her new medicine’s benefits and risks.YOUR CLINIC VISITQUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR DOCTOROR OTHER HEALTHCARE PROVIDERCARE IN THE HOSPITALAT THE PHARMACYAnna visits her pharmacist, Dr. Rosa, to pick up a few of her refills and the new medicine Dr. Chan prescribed. Before Anna leaves the pharmacy, Dr. Rosa explains some of the medicine’s important points.DECIDING ON A PHARMACY QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR PHARMACIST READING YOUR PRESCRIPTION LABELMAKING A LIST OF ALL YOUR MEDICINES AT HOMEAt home, Anna pays special attention to how to take and store her medicines.6TAKING YOUR MEDICINESTORING YOUR MEDICINETHROWING AWAY MEDICINES AND SHARPSSPECIAL GROUPSAnna also helps manage the medicines that her mother and young son take. Older age patients and children are unique when it comes to taking medicines.OLDER AGE PATIENTS7 CHILDREN8SPOT COUNTERFEIT (FAKE) DRUGSCounterfeit drugs are fakes. They are not produced under safe manufacturing conditions and are not inspected by regulatory authorities. They may look the same9 as a real medicine but they can contain:10? No medicine at all ? Wrong ingredients ? Harmful ingredientsOrdering medicines over the internet from websites that are unknown or untrustworthy may be a serious counterfeit threat to patients.11 If anything seems different about the color, texture, shape or taste of your medicine, talk to your pharmacist.10LEARN HOW TO SPOT THE FAKES AND WHAT PFIZER DOES TO PROTECT PATIENTS FROM THEMSOURCES 1 fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm143558.htm 2 http://www.nccmerp.org/about-medication-errors 3 psnet.ahrq.gov/primers/primer/23/medication-errors4 fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm096403.htm 5 fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/ucm079480.htm6 safemedication.com/safemed/PharmacistsJournal/How-to-Safely-Store-and-Dispose-of-Your-Medications 7 fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/UCM163961.pdf 8 cdc.gov/medicationsafety/parents_childrenadversedrugevents.html9 cdc.gov/features/counterfeitdrugs/index.html 10 fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/ucm079278.htm 11 who.int/bulletin/volumes/88/4/10-020410/en/