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Medicine Safety Tips for Patients

Do you ever have questions on how to safely take your medicines?

Medication errors can happen in clinics and hospitals, pharmacies, and at home. Patients and healthcare providers, however, can work together to help prevent these errors.

Follow our patient Anna as she makes the most of visits with her healthcare team and pays attention to how to take her medicines at home.

For medicine safety tips that may help you take medicines more safely, keep reading and be sure to click on the blue boxes below for even more information.

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Medicine Safety Tips For Patients by PfizerMEDICINE SAFETYTIPS FOR PATIENTSLEARN HOW TO USE YOURMEDICINES MORE SAFELYMedicines improve the lives of many people.They can help us get healthy and stay healthy.For most patients, the benefits of taking amedicine are greater than the risks whenused as prescribed.1Risks includemedication errors, which are preventablemistakes that may harm a patient or leadto inappropriate medication use.2These errors can happenin clinics and hospitals, inpharmacies and at homeThey cause almost 100,000hospitalizations every yearin the United States3Patients like you can help prevent medication errors.REMEMBER TO:4Talk with your healthcare team and ask questions about yourhealth and medicinesRead medicine labels carefully and follow instructions on howto take your medicines more safelyBe an engaged partner in your health and the health of othersNEVER FORGET THAT YOU, THE PATIENT, ARE AN IMPORTANTMEMBER OF THE HEALTHCARE TEAM.5MEET ANNAAnna, our patient, manages her whole family’s medicines.She makes the most of visits with her healthcare team including:? Doctors? Physician Assistants? NursesMotherPharmacistsSonAT THE CLINICWhen Anna visits her newdoctor, Dr. Chan, shebrings a list of themedicines she takes andquestions to ask herdoctor.At the visit, Anna andher doctor shareinformation. They buildthe best possibletreatment plan for her.Anna leaves herdoctor’s office with aprescription andinformation on her newmedicine’s benefits andrisks.YOUR CLINIC VISITQUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR DOCTOROR OTHER HEALTHCARE PROVIDERCARE IN THE HOSPITALAT THE PHARMACYAnna visits her pharmacist, Dr. Rosa,to pick up a few of her refills and thenew medicine Dr. Chan prescribed.Before Anna leaves the pharmacy,Dr. Rosa explains some of themedicine’s important points.DECIDING ON A PHARMACY QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR PHARMACISTREADING YOUR PRESCRIPTION LABELMAKING A LIST OF ALL YOUR MEDICINESAT HOMEAt home, Anna pays special attention to how to take and store her medicines.6TAKING YOUR MEDICINESTORING YOUR MEDICINETHROWING AWAY MEDICINES AND SHARPSSPECIAL GROUPSAnna also helps manage the medicines that her mother and young son take.Older age patients and children are unique when it comes to taking medicines.OLDER AGE PATIENTS7CHILDREN8SPOT COUNTERFEIT (FAKE) DRUGSCounterfeit drugs are fakes. They are not produced under safe manufacturingconditions and are not inspected by regulatory authorities. They may look thesame9as a real medicine but they can contain:10?No medicine at all?Wrong ingredients?Harmful ingredientsOrdering medicines over the internet from websites thatareunknown or untrustworthymay be a seriouscounterfeit threat to patients.11If anything seems differentabout the color, texture, shape or taste of your medicine,talk to your pharmacist.10LEARN HOW TO SPOT THE FAKES AND WHAT PFIZERDOES TO PROTECT PATIENTS FROM THEMSOURCES1fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm143558.htm2http://www.nccmerp.org/about-medication-errors3psnet.ahrq.gov/primers/primer/23/medication-errors4fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm096403.htm5fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/ucm079480.htm6safemedication.com/safemed/PharmacistsJournal/How-to-Safely-Store-and-Dispose-of-Your-Medications7fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/UCM163961.pdf8cdc.gov/medicationsafety/parents_childrenadversedrugevents.html9cdc.gov/features/counterfeitdrugs/index.html10fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/ucm079278.htm11who.int/bulletin/volumes/88/4/10-020410/en/