There’s at least one scenario in which you’re guaranteed the medication you were prescribed won’t do a thing for you: You don’t take it.
And there’s at least one scenario in which the medication you were prescribed might actually do more harm than good: You don’t take it as prescribed.
While these might sound like common-sense observations, there’s often a gulf between what people know and what they actually do.
“Statistics show that a good portion of hospital admissions are due to medication mishaps and people taking medications the wrong way or not at all,” says Darrell Willm, director of inpatient pharmacy services at Tidelands Health.
Within Tidelands Health hospitals, there are several layers of redundancy to help ensure patients are given the correct medication at the correct dose, Willm says.
It starts with the prescribing physician, who conducts research to order the appropriate medication and dosage for a specific patient and condition.
When a pharmacist receives the physician’s order, the pharmacist reviews the patient’s medical records, lab work, microbiology, any cultures that have been taken, renal function, liver function and other information to help ensure sure the medication is appropriate for the patient and the dosing is correct. Only then can medication be administered to a patient, Willm says.
But after someone is discharged from the hospital, it’s the responsibility of the patient to make sure he or she is taking medications properly.
Here are some of Willm’s suggestions for avoiding trouble with medication: