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SAFE AND PROPER USE OF MEDICINES

Medicines are prescribed for purpose of prevention or treatment of diseases, as well as to remedy health problems. Medicines are available in the form of tablet, capsules, liquid, inhalers, patches, creams, injections, etc.
When medicines are not used in a safe and proper way, it can be harmful to one’s health.

Here are some tips on safe and proper use of medicines:

1. Take medicines as prescribed ; for example once a day, twice a day, or thrice a day. medicines should be taken as instructed on quantity, frequency of dosage and duration of treatment. When confused or in doubt about dosage and frequency of a medicine, consult your health care provider for clarification.

2. Don’t share your medicines ; prescribed medicines should not be shared with family members or friends. For example what causes fever for two family members can be from two different diseases , when sick each family member or friend should go for medical treatment.

3. Keep medicines out of the reach of children; children are inquisitive and may imitate the actions of adult family members they observed by swallowing medicines they find at home.
4. Report adverse effects of medicines immediately ; most medicines produce side effects which creates some discomfort but are not life-threatening. An adverse effects of a drug or medicine is life-threatening, examples are breathing difficulty, skin rash and swelling, general worsening of health condition. When adverse effects or reactions occurs or is suspected after taking a medicine, the affected person should visit the hospital immediately for proper medical review.

5. Proper storage of medicines; when medicines are not properly stored and preserved, loss of potency and efficacy can occur; keep medicines in a cool dry place, avoid exposure to heat, sunlight, wet and damp places.

6. Avoid self medication ; appropriate medical treatment should be sought when sick, self medication can lead to delay in appropriate medical treatment, ingestion of unnecessary medicines, and exposure to side effects.
The array of modern medicines available to us has helped a lot in combating diseases and providing remedies for health challenges, proper and safe use of medicines is essential in maintaining one’s health.
 
by John Uzie


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