1. MEDICINES ARE TO BE USED ONLY AS DIRECTED
Never take more than is prescribed or recommended on the label of over-the-counter preparations.
Do not stop taking the medicine without the approval of your doctor or pharmacist.
REMEMBER - THE PRESCRIBED DOSAGE IS THE BEST DOSAGE.
2. MEDICINES CAN BE HARMFUL IF THEY ARE MISUSED OR ABUSED
Careless use can cause more problems than they solve.
All prescription or over-the-counter drugs can cause side effects.
Some medicines can interact with other medicines, food or alcohol.
3. MEDICINES ARE NOT A CURE-FOR-ALL
Each time you visit your doctor you should not expect a prescription.
Sometimes there are non-drug therapies which may be as effective eg exercise and diet.
4. MEDICINES NEED TO BE STORED PROPERLY
Exposure to warmth, moisture and sunlight cause some medicines to breakdown rapidly.
It is not a good idea to save unused portions of medication for a later date.
Check with a pharmacist before using medication that has been stored for a long time.
Pay special attention to the expiry dates on the items that you purchase over the counter.
5. MEDICINES SHOULD BE KEPT OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN
Many children are accidentally poisoned by medicine left carelessly within their reach by adults. This is equally important for over-the-counter preparations as for prescription products. Paracetamol and iron preparations are especially harmful to children when taken in large doses.
6. YOUR MEDICINE WAS PRESCRIBED FOR YOU ONLY
Medicines, prescribed for you, were prescribed according to your age, weight and particular needs and are best used by you and only you and not shared. (Do not assume that your medication will help someone else because the symptoms similar.)
Tell your health care provider immediately if any unusual symptoms develop whilst you are taking medication. These symptoms may signal an allergic reaction; when such a reaction occurs take note of the medication and remind your doctor of the reaction each time he is about to prescribe medication for you.
7. TAKE YOUR MEDICINE AS PRESCRIBED
It is a waste of time, money and medicine if you visit your doctor for advice and do not follow it.
8. READ THE LABEL
a) Always read the label before leaving the pharmacy, to make sure that you understand the instructions.
b) Read it, at least, three (3) times when taking a dose of medication or giving medication to someone else;
i) on taking up the container,
ii) on opening the container and
iii) on replacing the container.
c) NEVER take medication in the dark even if you think that you have the right container.
9. NEVER SWITCH CONTAINERS
Your medicine should always be kept in the original container. Switching containers may cause you to take the wrong medicines.
10. FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS
11. ASK IF YOU ARE UNSURE
The pharmacist's role is to provide clear and concise information about your medicines. If the instructions are confusing ask the pharmacist to go over them again. If necessary go over them in your own words so that you are sure that you understand.
12. KEEP A MEDICATION RECORD
When you take many different sets of medication or medication for chronic diseases always keep your own record of all the medicines that you take.