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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 Pfizer MEDICINE SAFETYTIPS FOR PATIENTS LEARN HOW TO USE YOURMEDICINES MORE SAFELY Medicines improve the lives of many people.They can help us get healthy and stay healthy. For most patients, the benefits of taking a medicine are greater than the risks when used as prescribed. 1 Risks include medication errors, which are preventable mistakes that may harm a patient or lead to inappropriate medication use. 2 These errors can happenin clinics and hospitals, inpharmacies and at home They cause almost 100,000 hospitalizations every year in the United States 3 Patients like you can help prevent medication errors. REMEMBER TO: 4 Talk 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 others NEVER FORGET THAT YOU, THE PATIENT, ARE AN IMPORTANT MEMBER OF THE HEALTHCARE TEAM. 5 MEET ANNA Anna, our patient, manages her whole family’s medicines.She makes the most of visits with her healthcare team including: • Doctors• Physician Assistants• Nurses Mother Pharmacists Son AT THE CLINIC When 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 VISIT QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR DOCTOROR OTHER HEALTHCARE PROVIDER CARE IN THE HOSPITAL AT THE PHARMACY Anna 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 PHARMACIST READING YOUR PRESCRIPTION LABEL MAKING A LIST OF ALL YOUR MEDICINES AT HOME At home, Anna pays special attention to how to take and store her medicines. 6 TAKING YOUR MEDICINE STORING YOUR MEDICINE THROWING AWAY MEDICINES AND SHARPS SPECIAL GROUPS Anna 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 PATIENTS 7 CHILDREN 8 SPOT COUNTERFEIT (FAKE) DRUGS Counterfeit drugs are fakes. They are not produced under safe manufacturing conditions and are not inspected by regulatory authorities. They may look the same 9 as a real medicine but they can contain: 10 No medicine at allWrong ingredientsHarmful ingredients Ordering medicines over the internet from websites that are unknown or untrustworthy may be a serious counterfeit threat to patients. 11 If anything seems different about the color, texture, shape or taste of your medicine, talk to your pharmacist. 10 LEARN HOW TO SPOT THE FAKES AND WHAT PFIZERDOES TO PROTECT PATIENTS FROM THEM SOURCES 1 fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm143558.htm 2 http://www.nccmerp.org/about-medication-errors 3 psnet.ahrq.gov/primers/primer/23/medication-errors 4 fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm096403.htm 5 fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/ucm079480.htm 6 safemedication.com/safemed/PharmacistsJournal/How-to-Safely-Store-and-Dispose-of-Your-Medications 7 fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/UCM163961.pdf 8 cdc.gov/medicationsafety/parents_childrenadversedrugevents.html 9 cdc.gov/features/counterfeitdrugs/index.html 10 fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/ucm079278.htm 11 who.int/bulletin/volumes/88/4/10-020410/en/