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August 7, 2018 | Family Medicine
Medications can be safe when used as prescribed, but they can be dangerous when taken incorrectly or by the wrong person. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adverse drug events (ADEs) lead to more than 1 million emergency room visits each year. If your or a member of your family receives a prescription, it’s critical to understand how to safely take, store and dispose of prescription drugs.
ADEs are a serious public health issue leading to more than 350,000 hospital admissions each year. That’s a total cost of $3.5 billion, according to the CDC. Because older adults take more medications, this group is seven times more likely to end up in the hospital after an ADE. Overdose or misuse of some prescription medications can be fatal. Opioid overdose is a public health epidemic leading to more than 15,000 deaths each year.
The CDC also notes that more than 60,000 children younger than 5 are taken to the emergency room each year after ingesting prescription medications. In fact, 70 percent of emergency room visits for this reason involve children younger than 2.
These strategies can help keep your family safe from ADEs:
Your doctor can offer further recommendations when it comes to prescription drug safety.
“Do’s and Don’ts of Drug Safety.” WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/guide/medication-safety-tips-dos-and-donts#1
“Medication Safety Tips.” Martin Health System. https://www.martinhealth.org/medication-safety-tips
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.