Family Health: Taking Medicine
Check the expiry dates of medicines and get rid of any that have passed it.
Where to keep them
Medicines do not belong in the bathroom or kitchen-dampness and heat can speed their deterioration. The best place is another room in a separate small cabinet or closet that can be securely locked away from children. Some medicines should be kept in a refrigerator. The label will tell you.
DO NOT tell children that medicine tastes nice or that tablets and capsules are sweets. They may seek them out when you are not looking and poison themselves. Be honest about the taste. Give the child a fruit drink or a biscuit before and after taking unpleasant medicine.
Swallowing a tablet
The best way to swallow a tablet or capsule: place it in your mouth with a small amount of water, tilt your head backwards, and you can swallow readily. Follow with more water.
Time for your medicine
If medicine must be taken at certain times, and you’re afraid you’ll forget, set your alarm watch or clock for the correct interval between dosages.
When you’re pouring medicine out of a bottle, keep the label-side up. Then any drips or spills won’t stain the label and make the directions hard to read. When you’ve finished, wipe the mouth of the bottle with a clean cloth so the cap doesn’t stick.
Catching the drips
BEFORE YOU TAKE ANY MEDICATION
To get the most out of your medicine – whether over-the-counter or prescription – you should ask your doctor or chemist the following questions:
• What is the medicine supposed to do?
• What side effects may occur?
• How many times a day should you take it; before or after meals?
• Should you continue to take it after you’re feeling better but while there’s some still left?
• Should you avoid alcohol while taking the medicine?
• Can prescription be refilled without an appointment?