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Managing Your Medicines

When patients return home from the hospital, they often have a new list of medicines or changes to current prescriptions. Helping them manage and organize medicines is one of the most important things the homecare team will do. Not taking medicines properly is one of the most common reasons patients go back to the hospital.

Medicine Safety Tips

  • Check the label and expiration date on all medicines before taking.
  • Tell the visiting nurse or therapist if the patient begins or stops any medicines.
  • Keep all caps on medicine bottles and away from children and pets.
  • Do not mix medicines in the same bottle.
  • Keep medicine, including pills and IV bags, away from sunlight.
  • Store medicines at the correct temperature.
  • Tell the visiting nurse, doctor or pharmacist if you see any changes in the medicine’s color, size or smell.
  • Keep the Poison Control Center phone number (800-222-1222) near the phone.
  • Refrigerated Medicines:
    • Keep medicines at the correct temperature in the refrigerator.
    • Do not freeze them.
    • Keep cold foods and medicine away from each other.
    • If several medicines are in the refrigerator, keep them away from each other.
  • Make sure the light in the refrigerator is working.
  • Keep an up-to-date list of medicines the patient is taking currently.

Keep a Medicine List

People should always keep a list of the medicines that they are taking. Use this Medicine List Worksheet to keep track of medicines.

  • Add new medicines if the doctor adds a new prescription.
  • Make a note if the doctor changes the dose or the way the medicine is taken.
  • Cross off old medicines if the doctor says to stop taking them.
  • Take the medicine list with you when visiting a doctor or going to the hospital.

Contact Us

To find out more about our home healthcare services, call: 800-862-2166.

Top Ten Medicine Safety Tips

Watch the video below to learn how to take your medicines correctly and keep them organized:

Medication Side Effects

Use MedStar Health Home Care's chart to learn the uses for common medicines and the possible side effects of each.