Safely Using Medications at Home
After being diagnosed with a medical condition or receiving emergency care at the hospital, you may be prescribed one or more medications to take at home. Medications are essential tools in the treatment of diseases and conditions, but they can also be dangerous if used improperly. Before leaving the hospital or pharmacy, be sure that you understand how to take the medicine, how much to take, and when to take it. At Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas, the safety and well-being of our patients are our highest priorities.
When you are prescribed a new medication, it’s important to advise your medical provider of all of the medicines you’re currently using, including over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and supplements. Some medications interact with each other , causing undesirable side effects. Your doctor should also know about all of the medical conditions you’ve been diagnosed with. He or she may ask you if you consume alcohol, since combining alcohol with certain medications is not advisable. When you fill the prescription at the pharmacy, you should be provided with important patient safety information. Read this information carefully and ask the pharmacist for clarification if need be.
Most medications are taken by mouth, but you may be given other instructions. Some medicines are dissolved under the tongue, while others are inhaled or injected. Some medications should never be split or crushed. If your medicine requires special administration, your doctor can show you how to take it before you leave the hospital. Follow your dosage instructions carefully. If you take multiple medications or multiple dosages throughout the day, consider keeping a written record of your dosages or using a pill organizer device.
If you have a question about a medication you’ve been prescribed, you can call your doctor or pharmacy for assistance. In the event that a drug overdose or other serious drug reaction occurs, the emergency care team at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center is available 24/7 to assist patients in the Las Vegas area. The Consult-A-Nurse line for our hospital is available at (702) 233-5300 for non-emergent health inquiries.