OTHER COMPLICATIONS OF SPINAL CORD INJURY: MEDICATION MANAGEMENT
A medication is a substance that is taken to prevent or to cure a medical problem. The proper use of medications is a very important aspect of your management after spinal cord injury. Taken correctly, medications have a positive effect on your body. However, if care is not taken, medications can cause many problems.
Once you leave the hospital, you will be responsible for the medications you take. In order to increase the effectiveness of your medications, it is important that you understand their use. Specifically, you need to know:
Following are precautions that you, as an individual, can take to ensure that the medications are taken safely:
1. If your doctor prescribes an unfamiliar medication, ask him/her about it. Write down the information he/she gives you. Other sources of information are your nurse, your pharmacist and the literature that may be enclosed with the medication. Questions you should ask include:
2. Read and follow the specific directions on the label. Take the medication exactly as directed, at the right time, and for the full length of time prescribed by your doctor. If you are using an over-the-counter (nonprescription) medication, follow the directions on the label, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
3. Tell each of your doctors and nurses what medications you are or have taken in the past few weeks. Don't forget nonprescription medicines, such as aspirin, laxatives, and antacids.
4. Know all medications to which you are allergic.
5. Report to your doctor any unusual symptoms that occur when taking the medication. Remember: each person reacts differently to each medication.
6. Before having any kind of surgery (including dental surgery) or emergency treatment, tell the doctor or dentist about any medication you are taking.
7. Destroy old medications by flushing them down the toilet. Medications may change characteristics as they age, so an old medication may not only be useless, it may be dangerous.
8. Keep all medications out of reach of children.
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