Ask the Expert: What to know about medication safety

Ask the Expert: What to know about medication safety. (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) Your doctor prescribed them, so your medications must be safe, right? Not necessarily. This is why when picking up a new medication, it’s important to ask questions.

“Pharmacists are fee healthcare. We feel it’s important to talk to the patient and make sure they are taking it correctly, and if they have any questions, we can get that taken care of and resolved,” says Heather Hansen, pharmacy manager at Intermountain Southridge Pharmacy.

Let your pharmacist know what other medications you are taking. They can double-check to make sure there’s no drug interaction. Drug interactions can make prescriptions non effective and can even be dangerous.

“We’re always available. You don’t need an appointment. You can give us a call. You can stop in. We’re happy to help,” reminds Hansen.

Even if it’s just a refill and something you’ve taken before, check-in with the pharmacist. Sometimes a dose might change, a strength might change, and assumptions might be made that are wrong.

Medication safety doesn’t end there.

“After you’re finished taking a medication and after your illness is resolved, after your pain is gone, it’s important to get it out of your house,” says Hansen.

Drop-off boxes are the best way to get rid of those old medications. Located in all 26 Intermountain Community Pharmacies, these boxes help to ensure prescriptions don’t get into the wrong hands – especially those of children.

“It also stops you from taking something you shouldn’t be taking when you shouldn’t be taking it,” says Hansen.