|Adults / Seniors - Medication Safety
Taking your medication properly is part of a healthy lifestyle.
Medications include prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, and herbal remedies. When taking more than one medication, it is important that you know why you are taking them, what side effects they have, how to take them properly, and if they will interact negatively with each other.
Make sure that your health care provider and pharmacist are aware of all the medications you are currently taking.
Talk with your health care provider every 6 months about your medications to ensure that you are taking them properly and make sure they are aware of any side effects that you may be experiencing.
Special considerations associated with taking medications include:
- Some medications can cause dizziness and drowsiness, which can increase your risk of falling and affect your daily activities.
- Some medications cause nausea and vomiting, which impacts your eating patterns and overall nutrition.
Some medications need to be taken with food and some without.
- Some medications should not be taken with specific foods. For example, iron should not be taken with milk products.
- Some medications need to be gradually reduced. Sudden withdrawal of the medication could lead to serious health problems.
- Be sure to discuss these issues with your health care provider.
- There are several resources that can help you make sure that you are taking your medication correctly.
Ontario MedsCheck is FREE! with your OHIP number. Ontario MedsCheck is a program run by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care for people who are taking more than two medications a day. It allows you to have a 30-minute discussion with your pharmacist once a year about your medications. Ask your pharmacist or doctor about it today. It is important to keep a record of all your medications at one pharmacy. This ensures that your pharmacist will be able to identify problems with the medications you are taking. Be sure to tell your pharmacist about any prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, or herbal medications you are taking. Never be afraid to ask questions when it comes to your health.
Ontario Drug Benefit
Ontario Drug Benefit - The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care provides the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) program for Ontario residents with a valid Ontario Health Card. The OBD covers most prescription drugs for people 65 years and older. Ask your health care provider if your medications are covered. You may be asked to cover a portion of the cost depending on your yearly income. For a drug to be covered it must be prescribed by a licensed Ontario health care provider and be purchased at an Ontario pharmacy that is on-line with the ministry's Health Network or an Ontario doctor licensed to sell prescriptions. For more information see the Ontario Drug Benefit website or to apply for benefits see the Applications and Forms section of their site.