April 1st kicks off Medication Safety Week, a time to educate the public and clear up confusion about medicines and reduce the risks of medication-related illness.

The defective drug attorneys at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris have helped clients who suffered the ill effects of being given the wrong medication or been prescribed medications that are more dangerous than helpful.

This awareness week is marked by a different theme every day, and we feel each theme is important to protecting our clients’ health and well-being.

April 1: Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet

Almost everyone has a medicine cabinet, often overflowing with outdated prescriptions and over-the-counter meds. Start April with a clean slate by discarding old prescription drugs and tossing OTC medication that has passed its expiration date. Medication should be stored in original container in a cool, dry place, well out of the reach of children and pets.

April 2: Know Your Medicines

If you have prescription medications, know both the generic and brand names. Make sure you can identify your pills and what each is for. Keep a list of the medications you take, including prescription and OTC medication, birth control pills, etc. This list should be updated and with you at all times.

April 3: Read Medication Labels

Our defective drug attorneys know that medication-induced illness can happen in a variety of ways. Being prescribed the wrong drugs, or ones with serious side effects, is certainly one way it can happen. It can also happen when patients don’t take medicine as prescribed. Always read your drug labels and note all warnings, including side effects, interactions with food or other medications, and when and how to take it correctly.

April 4: Dietary Supplements Awareness

The dietary supplement industry is growing in the U.S. by leaps and bounds every year, but not all supplements are safe or recommended. Talk to your doctor before starting any herbal medicine or dietary supplements and make sure there are no known ill effects and that they won’t interact badly with other medications you are on.

April 5: Organize Your Medicines

One of the easiest ways to take the wrong pills, accidentally double a dose, or miss a much-needed medication is by not having your drug cabinet organized. Medicine organizer boxes can be great for patients who take multiple medications, but be sure to organize your pills not only by day to take them but what time they need to be taken. If you have questions or concerns about how and when to take your pills, it’s best to consult your doctor.

April 6: Transitional Care Awareness

When your healthcare regimen changes, it’s easy for mistakes to be made. Go over any new routines or prescriptions with your doctors and be sure you understand them fully. If you are changing doctors or healthcare facilities, bring complete medical records, including your list of prescriptions, to your new doctor.

April 7: Better Communication with Health Professionals

Defective drug attorneys find that many patients are ill-informed about the potential side effects of the medications they are taking. Always ask questions when getting a new prescription, immediately consult your physician if side effects occur, and don’t hesitate to discuss any concerns you have with your doctors, nurses and pharmacists.

For some patients, the severe side effects of a bad medication can have a serious impact on their health, finances and family life. The defective drug attorneys at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers may be able to help you recover compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation.