14-Jul-14 2:30 PM  CST

Medication Labels: Do Your Patients Totally Ignore Them?

Medication labels. They are very essential and an important component of a prescription. As a pharmacy technician, you know they are important, but do your patients read them or totally ignore the labels from the main prescription label and the attached auxiliary labels? 

            Good Days from CDF reports that 50% of patients ignore label warnings on their medications. These brightly colored auxiliary labels provide a variety of warnings. Pharmacy technicians can be essential in making sure these prescription labels read correctly, are printed out and legible, and provide the labels in a quick and timely manner so they will be ready to be placed on the medicine bottles and ready for patient pick-up at the pharmacy.

            Often patients are only focusing on feeling better and many times they want to feel better NOW, and ignore the consequences of not reading these essential labels. Ignoring prescription labels may cause delayed, increased, or enhanced absorption of a drug.

            The FDA is a pioneer in patient and drug safety. They offer some sage advice every pharmacy technician can pass on to their pharmacist or pharmacy manager who can then rely this great information on to patients.

 

  • Encourage patients to use one pharmacy for all of their medication needs.

 

  • Remind patients to keep their medications in each designated bottle with the correct labels attached.

 

  • Remember to update patient information when a patient brings in a new prescription.  Patients sometimes forget to list all of the medications they are taking which sometimes include OTC drugs and supplements.

 

            Pharmacists and technicians can also access the “My Medicine” record that can help patients keep track of their medications. The FDA form can be accessed here:  www.fda.gov/downloads/AboutFDA/ReportsManualsForms/Forms/UCM095018.pdf.

 

 

Sources: 

1. Milivojevic, Jovanka JoAnn. “50% Of People Ignore Label Warnings On Medications. Here’s Why You Shouldn’t.” Good Days by CDF.  Web. Date of Access:  13 July 2014.

2. Stewart, Chato, B. “Do You Ignore Label Warnings? Here’s Why You Must Unequivocally Read Them.”  PsychCentral. Web. Date of Access: 13 July 2014.

 


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Source: Jennifer S. O’Reilly  

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