How to take oral medications safely

Taking oral medications safely is essential, making sure that you benefit fully from the liquid or tablets while ensuring that potential risks and side effects are minimised. Here are some important guidelines to follow when taking oral medications.

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Read the printed instructions carefully

Always read the medication label and any accompanying pamphlets or printed material carefully. Follow the instructions provided by your doctor or pharmacist. If you have any questions or concerns about your medication, always ask for clarification.

Space the doses and take the medication at the correct time

Take your medication at the recommended time each day. If your medication has to be taken with food, do follow this carefully as failure to do so can lead to severe sickness. Being consistent in the timing is crucial for some medications to work effectively.

Avoid crushing the tablets

Some medications are designed to be released into the system gradually. Crushing these medications can alter their effectiveness and may even cause side effects. If you have difficulty swallowing pills, get in touch with your doctor or pharmacist as there may be alternative liquid medication available. Verywell Health has some useful guidance on crushing pills for those who cannot swallow them whole.

Don’t skip doses of your medication

Take your medication strictly as prescribed. Skipping doses or stopping prematurely can result in a possible relapse of your condition.

Store medications properly

Keep your medications in their original containers and store them according to the instructions on the label. Some medications require refrigeration, while others should be kept at room temperature.

If you are interested in a medication administration course which is aimed at healthcare professionals who administer medication and need to upskill or those who simply wish to educate themselves about medication, there are online courses that you can avail yourself of, such as those seen here:

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Attend your follow-up appointments

Attend all follow-up appointments with your doctor and ensure that you do not skip these. Regular monitoring by a healthcare professional is crucial to assess the medication’s effectiveness. Your doctor may have to make occasional adjustments to your medication.

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