50% of seniors have no regular routine for taking their medications. Call us 24/7 with your questions about drug interactions.
We increase the chance of making mistakes with our over-the-counter medications, prescriptions or vitamins as we age simply because we take more medications. When it comes to poisonings and older adults, most of the calls to the Poison Helpline are from a mix up with medications or a grandchild is in the home and something has occurred.
Why seniors would call the poison center?
- You took too much of your medication.
- You are concerned about a drug interaction.
- You have made a mistake with a household product.
- You have missed a dose of your medication and are not sure what to do.
Most, but certainly not all grandparents live without children in their homes therefore they do not think about childproofing measures. When grandchildren visit, can only take a second for a toddler or infant to reach for the medications, put them in their mouth and swallow them.
Please consider these suggestions:
- Take medicines out of the container only when using them; otherwise put them in a place that is out of reach and out of sight to young children.
- Purchase a medication lock box.
- Avoid taking medications in front of young children. Children like to imitate adults.
- Use child resistant caps whenever possible.
- Refer to medicine by its proper name and never call it "candy".
- Protect your grandchildren from toxic household products and plants.
- Remember that child-resistant does not mean child proof, but it does help prevent many poisonings.
Safer Medication Use
Why do seniors accidentally hurt themselves with their medications? We know a few simple steps can greatly reduce your risks of a poisoning.
- Use the same pharmacy to fill all prescriptions.
- Keep all medications in original containers to avoid confusion.
- Read the label before taking any medications.
- Never take mediations in the dark.
- Dispose of unneeded or expired medications.
- Know which herbals and vitamins can interact with your prescriptions.
Seniors take more medications than ever before and half of all calls from Oklahomans 60 and older involve a medication error. We welcome questions to the Poison Helpline regarding medications.
Here are some examples of common questions:
- Can my medication be taken with alcohol?
- I accidentally took too much medication. What should I do?
- Will these over- the-counter products interact with my prescribed medications?
- I forgot my morning dose, should I double up on my evening dose of medications?
- I had surgery and I can't remember my discharge instructions for my new prescriptions?
- Can I mix Tylenol with the new pain medications I was given?