Category: Information needed
Imagine you or someone that you love had an emergency which required a trip to the hospital. When you get there, you will be asked a lot of important questions. One of the most important is a CURRENT Medications List. What are you taking? What strength? How are you taking it? Hopefully, they will also ask you, Why are you taking that?
Why are you taking this medicine?
The “why” is important because sometimes medications are used for off-label or other than their intended indications. For example, Seroquel® (quetiapine) which has indications for Bipolar disorder and Schizophrenia, may be used for sleep.
Do you have a current medications list? Where is it? How easily can emergency personnel find it? Have a written or hard copy in your wallet that is updated every 6 months or every time your medications change.
I would also include your over-the-counter medications as well as supplements and herbal products.
Yes, I know. You think that you will remember all of that, but trust me you will not remember everything during a stressful situation. Cortisol will hijack your brain and you will be physiologically unable to recall everything that you are taking for 30 minutes to an hour or longer.
Medication misuse and abuse
Medication misuse and abuse happens all the time and it causes 1 in 5 Emergency department visits. The most commonly misused medications are Opioids (pain medications), Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants (used for tranquilizers, anxiety, sleep) and Stimulants (ADHD medications). These are not the only ones, just the most common.
- Taking a medicine that was prescribed for someone else
- Taking a larger dose than you are supposed to
- Taking the medicine in a different way than you are supposed to. This might be crushing tablets and then snorting or injecting them.
- Using the medicine for another purpose, such as getting high
Prescription drug abuse is the use of a prescription medication in a way not intended by the prescribing doctor. Prescription drug abuse or problematic use includes everything from taking a friend’s prescription painkiller for your backache to snorting or injecting ground-up pills to get high. Drug abuse may become ongoing and compulsive, despite the negative consequences.
When will you write out and place your list in your wallet? Write it on your calendar. What gets written down, gets done.