by Duane Wesche, RPh-FACA, Missouri Baptist Medical Center pharmacist
Get these flyers to display in your workplace:
Go to Ask the Diabetes Educator to ask your questions about diabetes.
Go to Ask the Pharmacist to ask your questions about medications.
People with diabetes need to practice extra diligence with it comes to medication safety. The importance of taking the right drug in the right quantity at the right time goes a long way toward keeping blood sugar at the proper levels.
Here are some medication tips for those with diabetes:
- Always take the prescribed medications according to the directions on the label; don't skip doses, don't take more than is prescribed; take your medications until completion, especially antibiotics (Diabetics are more prone to infections, and have a harder time eliminating infections.)
- Check your blood sugar levels as often as your doctor recommends
- Make a list of all the medications you take -- including over-the-counter medications, vitamins and herbal supplements -- and keep it with you at all times
- Store your medications properly -- keep unopened insulin in the refrigerator; don't keep other medications in the refrigerator, unless indicated on the label -- most medications should be stored at room temperature (55-78 degrees F); don't store medications in the bathroom, over the sink or stove, on a windowsill or anywhere near a heat source; avoid closets with ductwork running through them; and keep medications in a safe place away from children (a drawer or cabinet with childproof locks)
- At least once a year, go through all your medications (including the over-the-counter medications) and discard any you no longer take, those that have expired or any you haven't used (after opening) in a year; follow proper disposal guidelines from the Office of National Drug Control Policy, or take the medications back to your pharmacy
- When you receive a new prescription from your physician, ask questions:
-- What is the name of the medication?
-- What is the medication used for?
-- When should I take the medication?
-- For how long should I take the medication?
-- What are the side effects of this medication?
-- What should I do, if I experience any of these side effects?
-- Can I safely take this medication with my other medications?
-- Do you have written information on this medication? (or, as necessary, do you have written information on this medication in large print or in other languages?)