Medication Safety Articles

 

A recent survey conducted by PrescribeWellness shows that middle age and older Americans would like to receive more health services at their local pharmacies. The survey examined the 2018 health goals of more than 1,000 adults over age 40 and the services they most value at their pharmacy.

Certain medicines can cause damage to the vocal cords. The vocal cords are two bands of elastic muscle tissue that sit side-by-side in the voice box at the back of the throat. When you are silent, the vocal cords remain open so you can inhale air into your lungs. When you speak or make other sounds, the vocal cords close and vibrate as you exhale air from your lungs.

Caution is advised regarding labeling and packaging of acetaminophen liquid products now on store shelves at several leading chain pharmacies.

Medicines are a leading cause of accidental poisonings in young children. When we think about this, older babies and toddlers who can scoot, crawl, walk, and/or climb come to mind. Older babies and toddlers are curious and explore their world by “mouthing” the items they find. If they see something that looks interesting, they often reach for it or climb to it. Therefore, it is important to keep medicines and other potentially toxic products up and away and out of the sight and reach of children.

Insulin is required for people with type 1 diabetes and sometimes for people with type 2 diabetes. Many people who take insulin use an insulin pen. The correct insulin dose is dialed on the pen, the needle is inserted under the skin, and the insulin is injected though the needle once the button is pushed. The needle is disposable. So, after each injection, the used needle should be removed. A new disposable needle should be screwed onto the pen before each injection.

Some medicines, including many prescribed for children, come in a powder form. Water must be added to the powder so the medicine can be easily measured and taken. The ratio of water to powder must be precise, so that the prescribed amount of the final liquid mixture provides the correct dose of medicine per milliliter (mL). It is best for the pharmacist to add water right before the medicine is picked up. Once mixed, the medicine often needs to be refrigerated to stay potent. But if the pharmacist forgets to add the water, or if the wrong amount of water is added at home, a serious dosing error can occur.

Some people with diabetes take insulin each day because their bodies do not make insulin, or the insulin they make is not working well. Insulin helps the body change carbohydrates in the food you eat into energy while keeping the blood sugar in the target range.

Black licorice candy is an old-fashioned favorite. But eating too much of it can cause health problems. So, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends snacking on this treat in moderation.

As people age, they often have more health problems. Many of these problems can be treated with medicines. Diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure, and the inability to sleep may require long-term medicines to manage these conditions. When numerous different medicines (e.g., 5 or more) are taken at the same time, it is called polypharmacy.

If you watch television, flip through magazines or newspapers, surf online, or listen to the radio, you are probably familiar with “direct-to-consumer” advertisements (ads) for prescription medicines. The US and New Zealand are the only two developed countries that allow drug companies to advertise prescription medicines directly to the public. These ads are popular with new medicines that treat chronic conditions such as diabetes and insomnia. In fact, 8 of the top 10 selling medicines in the US currently broadcast or publish at least one “direct-to-consumer” ad portraying happy and satisfied patients. It’s a big business, with drug companies spending an estimated $6.5 billion on “direct-to-consumer” ads in 2016 alone.

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