Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Robert L. Fielding

Medication Safety Week, which ran from 1st – 6th January, was a campaign to raise public awareness and offering free public consultations on safe medication usage, in Al Ain Hospital, Tawam Hospital and in Al Ain Mall, and organized by the Pharmacy Council & Medication Sub Committee at the General Authority for Health Services for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

And it worked  – around 200 people have been helped to realize that they or their children have been taking medication in the wrong way, relative to things like meal times and time of day.

Advice on how to ‘sweeten the pill’ for young children on medication has also helped many kids get used to things they need to take but would rather not.

Advice comes from well-trained, helpful staff, and useful leaflets are also provided as a reminder later.

The knowledge that trained pharmacists have an important part to play in preventing medication errors is the first of a string of useful facts.  Here are the others to help you stay on the right track.

  • Keep a list of all medications (prescribed and nonprescription drugs, herbal and/or home remedies and medical foods)

  • Share that list with your doctor – she will help you to avoid taking things that counteract each other, or worse, are dangerous.

  • Question anything you don’t understand or that doesn’t look right

  • Watch out for dosage changes and different strengths of medication.

  • Tell your medical-care provider HOW you take your medication and WHEN you take it – taking things incorrectly might be causing you more harm than good.

  • Show that you have understood how to take your medication by repeating information back to your doctor or pharmacist.

  • Learn the names of medication you are prescribed or given, along with dosages, strengths and times when they should be taken.

  • Seek help from someone close if you are too ill to get help yourself.

  • Ask if there are any foods you should avoid while on your medication.

  • Remember to talk to the pharmacist about dosages – she is probably the last care provider you will see before you take your pills.

  • Ask about any written information on the packet or bottle – pharmacists are only too happy to help.

Sound advice is also given on antibiotics, alternative and herbal medications, and poison prevention – catch them this week – but if you did miss them, this was only the first in a series throughout the country.  They are free and vitally important – talk to them soon.                      
Toll Free phone #: 800 424    www.health.ae/pdic
Robert L. Fielding


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