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Health Spotlight | Common medication mistakes to avoid

Health Spotlight | Common medication mistakes to avoid

ORLANDO, Florida (Ivanhoe Newswire) — More than 131 million Americans, or 66% of adults, take prescription drugs.

But, not all of them use their medicines correctly. Each year, between 7,000 and 9,000 people die due to medication errors.

If you’re like most Americans, pills are a part of life.

Ann Gwin says, “I’m up to four different medications now for my blood pressure.”

Dr. Daniel Munoz, a cardiologist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, said, “Medications can be tough to take. They can be complicated to take. Particularly the more medications somebody is prescribed.”

But if you’re using your meds incorrectly, you could be putting yourself in danger. In a recent U.S. News & World Report report, more than 9 million American adults said they’ve tried to cut costs by skipping doses, taking less medication, or delaying getting a prescription filled.

“The more medications someone is prescribed and picks up at the pharmacy, the higher their out-of-pocket costs will be,” Munoz said.

But, not taking certain medications on schedule can be unsafe.

For instance, skipping beta-blockers can cause a spike in blood pressure, which can put you at risk for a heart attack.

Another mistake, according to the Good Neighbor Script blog: Doubling up on doses if you miss one. Many times, you should skip the missed dose if it’s almost time for your next dose.

Another misstep is stopping your meds. You should always take the drug for the amount of time your doctor prescribes.

Ann said, “I lay out my little boxes and then I line up the pills, morning pills and afternoon pills.”

Some drugs such as antidepressants can cause harmful withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking them cold turkey. Sharing medicines with another person is also a mistake. Your drugs are prescribed with your particular height, weight, age, and medical condition in mind, with medication errors to avoid.

According to University of California, Davis, every 8 minutes, a child experiences a medication error at home. The most common mistakes are giving the wrong medication, administering medicines that the child is allergic to, or taking the wrong dose.

Health Spotlight is presented by Community Health Network. Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, producer; Charles Bennethum, editor.