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Safe drug use tips

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Many older Americans are prescribed a number of medications each year by their doctors. Often, these drugs may cause adverse reactions that patients do not realized are caused by their medications. WorstPills.org has composed a helpful list of “Ten Rules for Safer Drug Use.”

The list includes:

Rule 1: Have “Brown Bag Sessions” with Your Primary Doctor; Fill Out a Drug Worksheet.

Rule 2: Make Sure Drug Therapy Is Really Needed.

Rule 3: If Drug Therapy Is Indicated, in Most Cases, Especially in Older Adults, It Is Safer to Start with a Dose That Is Lower Than the Usual Adult Dose.

Rule 4: When Adding a New Drug, See If It Is Possible to Discontinue Another Drug.

Rule 5: Stopping a Drug Is as Important as Starting It.

Rule 6: Find Out If You Are Having Any Adverse Drug Reactions.

Rule 7: Assume That Any New Symptom You Develop After Starting a New Drug May Be Caused by the Drug.

Rule 8: Before Leaving Your Doctor’s Office or Pharmacy, Make Sure the Instructions for Taking Your Medicine Are Clear to You and a Family Member or Friend.

Rule 9: Discard All Old Drugs Carefully.

Rule 10: Ask Your Primary Doctor to Coordinate Your Care and Drug Use.