Carolinas HealthCare System
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Title
Make Sure Your Medicine is Helping, Not Harming
Date
04/10/2015
Article

Looking for a Primary Care Doctor?

Call 844-881-2180
for an appointment.

Or, complete an online request form.

Doctor Spotlight

Hala J Webster, MD

Hala Webster, MD

Specialty: Internal Medicine

Mecklenburg Medical Group-SouthPark
4525 Cameron Valley Parkway
Charlotte, NC 28211

Medical School
Case Western Reserve University

Taking medications – both prescription and over-the-counter – according to the directions provided by the prescribing doctor or the label itself is one of the most important things you can do for your own health and safety. Medication mistakes can be deadly…but they can also be avoided.

“The first thing you can do to manage your medication is to make sure you understand your prescription,” said Hala Webster, MD, from Mecklenburg Medical Group-SouthPark, part of Carolinas HealthCare System. “Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask your doctor to repeat instructions. You should know the name of the drug, the correct dosage and why you are taking it.”

Dr. Webster suggested reading the medication label while with your doctor or at the pharmacy, and ask questions if there is something you do not understand.

It’s also a good idea to take stock of your medication once a month. You can keep up with any prescriptions that need to be renewed and also check for medicines that have expired. “Do not take medication after it has expired,” Dr. Webster said. “Once a certain time limit has passed, there’s no guarantee your medicine will be as effective or even safe.”

More Tips for Managing Meds

  • Keep a current list of medications with you at all times, including vitamins, supplements and over-the-counter. When visiting the doctor, bring your medicines and supplements with you.
  • Take your prescribed medication until it’s gone, even after you feel better. If you stop too soon, your symptoms may return or your infection may not be completely cleared.
  • Store medicines in a safe place, away from children and pets. Do not store medication in your bathroom; moist air and bright light can diminish effectiveness of some medicines.
  • Do not take medication that is not prescribed to you, and don’t give your medication to someone else. This can be deadly, even for seemingly harmless medications, because you simply do not know what type of reaction someone could have to a medication.
  • Consider using a medicine take-back program to remove expired, unwanted, or unused medicines. Check the list of take-back events scheduled in North Carolina, or find a medicine drop-off location closest to you.
  • If no medicine take-back program is available in your area, do not flush pills or wash them down the sink. Remove the medicine from the container, crush it and mix with used coffee grounds or kitty litter. Place in a sealed plastic bag and throw in the trash.
  • You can also talk to your pharmacist for disposal questions, or visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website for more information.

Partner With a Doctor for Good Health

The primary care doctors at Carolinas HealthCare System can help you get (and stay) on the path to wellness. For questions related directly to your prescription medication, talk with your doctor.

Call 844-881-2180 or complete an online request form to find a doctor near you.

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