If you are to get the necessary benefits from your medications, it is important to know some important steps to take. One simple rule is to make sure you know the shelf life of your medicines. Medical drugs lose their effectiveness after it expires, so look at your containers and check the expiration dates. The shelf life of medicines varies. According to William A. Tisdale, M.D., the shelf life of medicines vary widely; antacids can be good for years, while antibiotics may lose their effectiveness in months. This is important to be aware of if you want to get rid of that terrible flu that attacked you again.
One of the requirements of the Food and Drug Administration regarding an effective shelf drug life is from two to three years—so check those medications!! When a medicine becomes too old, it can become dangerous or ineffective.
Do not refrigerate your medicines unless you were told to do so by your doctor. Sometimes you may see, however, on the label of your drug, to refrigerate it. In this case, it is important to do so. Liquid medication, when not properly stored, can thicken. When this occurs, the amount measured is inaccurate for the dose that is prescribed. If your bathroom often gets heated or humid from showers, this can have an effect on the thickness of your medication. The best place, most likely, would be a cool cupboard in the kitchen near the sink. It is also important to not change medicine from one container to the other because containers are made to keep the quality of the medicine.
It is important to keep a list of all the medications that you are presently taking. This is necessary so that when you see your doctor or a new doctor, he/she will know exactly what you are taking and will keep it on file A doctor should not prescribe other drugs for a patient until they have this information.
Do not stop taking your medication just because you are feeling better. This can cause a relapse. Continue to take the amount that you were told to take.
Be extremely careful if you are taking a drug that causes dizziness or drowsiness. Some pain killers or muscle relaxants are known to cause such a re-action, so you may not be able drive under such conditions. If you aren’t feeling too badly, be cautious if you do have to drive.
There may be times when a person does not have to take medication if he/she changes certain habits. For example, if someone is a borderline diabetic or hypertensive, a change in eating habits may be all that is necessary. Check with your doctor. You may be one of those who can do something else instead of having to take medications. An example of this can be if all you have to do is change your lifestyle. This could be: reducing weight, decreasing alcohol consumption, cutting down on smoking, and increasing the amount of exercise.
Source: Medical and Health Guide by Eugene C. Nelson D.Sc., William A. Tisdale, M.D.