Friday, February 28, 2014

TOP STORY >> Proper procedures for taking prescriptions

By Staff Sgt. Jessica Condit
19th Airlift Wing, Public Affairs

The 19th Medical Group at Little Rock Air Force Base fills an average of 300 prescriptions a day, often reaching more than 700 after one weekend.  

With all the medication prescriptions requested, every pharmacist and pharmacy technician plays a vital role in ensuring medication is properly dosed and given to the appropriate customer. 

Along with accepting medication prescribed by a physician, every patient must remember that responsibilities come with taking prescription medication. 

Certain procedures must be followed in order to properly use prescription medication. Taking  the proper dose is the first step to ensure there is no misuse of prescription medication. The dosage amount is always located on the label of the prescription. 

Along with taking the correct dosage, ensuring the dosage is taken on schedule will play a key role in the proper use of prescription medication. 

“It is imperative that any patient on a prescription medication should follow the instructions of the prescribing provider, dispensing pharmacist and the product label in order to ensure safe and effective use,” said Capt. Elizabeth Saltz, a 19th MDG pharmacist. “The patient prescription information sheet included with the medication contains information for safe use as well.”

Safely using prescription medication does not stop at taking the medication and instructions on how it is taken. Every prescription has an expiration date that should be acknowledged during the use of medication. Once treatment is completed, any extra medication should be properly disposed of. 

Disposing medication is an easy task as well, but should be done in the correct manner.  Medicine take-back programs are available for returning unused prescription medication. The Little Rock AFB pharmacy staff along with the 19th Security Forces Squadron participates in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. This event is held twice a year. During this event, people can turn in expired prescription meds. The next event is scheduled for April 26. 

Disposal is also available 24/7, year-round at the Jacksonville Police Department at 1400 Marshall Road. 

Prescription medication can not only be dangerous to the patient to whom the medication is prescribed to, but also to anyone who misuses the meds by taking them without a prescription.

Never share prescription medication. According to the Food and Drug Administration, prescription drug misuse involves taking a medication incorrectly or offering your own prescription medication for someone else’s use. Prescription medication should only be taken as directed by the prescriber. 

“Sharing prescription medication is a violation of federal law and can be very dangerous,” said Saltz. 

For more information on prescription medication or questions regarding a prescription medication, contact the base pharmacy at 501- 987-7446 or contact your prescriber.

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