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Pharmaceuticals and Drugs

Ever wake up or at least about half awake in the night with a splitting headache or a pain in the tummy? And stumble into the bathroom and reach for a bottle in the medicine cabinet. And gulp down a pill or two, or a spoonful of medicine?

Sure, most of us have and we are really risking serious trouble in taking pharmaceuticals carelessly. The medicine was prescribed by your physician and he included careful and specific orders for size and frequency of dose and how to take it.

There is a good sound reason for these orders and they are meant to be followed. A few simple rules for taking drugs can help to avoid an accident that may make your minor discomfort a lot worse.

• Never take medicine in the dark. You should be certain you can see the bottle or pill box.

• Read the directions carefully before taking. Those directions are there because they are needed.

• Don't increase the dose or take it more often than directed without checking with your doctor.

• If the label says "Shake Before Using," it means what it says, Shake It.

• Don't take pharmaceuticals prescribed for someone else. Just because it helped your husband's cough doesn't mean it's right for you.

• Keep medicines out of reach of children. Some of the children's medicines today taste good and the kids may eat them like candy.

• Put the cap back on the bottle. Some medicine change strength if exposed to air too long.

• Keep the medicine in its original box. Shifting sleeping pills into an aspirin bottle, for instance could produce dire effects for someone else in the family.