For Quality, Essential, Generic Medicines
Chapter 1: About Drugs in General    
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GUIDELINES FOR SAFE AND EFFECTIVE DRUG USE

 

 Do not

 Do
* Pressurise your doctor to prescribe unnecessary drugs. * Know the name and the correct spelling of the drug you are taking. It is advisable to know both the brand name and its generic name.
* Take drugs on the advice of friends who have had similar symptoms. * Check the product label before purchase to ensure that the expiry date is valid at the time of consumption of the drug.
* Offer anybody drugs prescribed for you. * Read the package labels and inserts of all drugs so as to familiarise yourself with the contents of the product.
* Change the dose or timing of any drug without the advice of your doctor.  
* Continue a drug which is causing adverse reactions. Contact your doctor as soon as possible. * Follow dosage instructions correctly.
* Take any drug if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, unless prescribed by your doctor, who is aware of your condition. * Shake all liquid suspensions of drugs thoroughly to ensure equal distribution of the ingredients.
* Withhold from your doctor, information about your previous drug experiences. It is important that your doctor be informed about the beneficial and undesirable drug effects you had experienced in the past. * Use a standarised measuring device for liquid medications to be administered by mouth. The household teaspoon varies greatly in size.
* Take drugs in the dark. Identify every dose of medicine carefully in adequate light to be certain you are taking the drug intended. * Follow your doctors's instructions on dietary and other treatment measures designed to augment the actions of the prescribed drugs. This makes it possible to achieve desired effects with smaller doses. A common example is to reduce salt intake during drug treatment for high blood pressure.
* Keep different medicines on the bedside table. You are likely to be confused and take the wrong one, even with the light on.  
* Discontinue taking a prescribed drug abruptly without the doctor's advice. * Inform your doctor if you intend to take OTC drugs while on prescribed medication.
* Take drugs which have expired * Inform your surgeon, dentist, anaesthetist of all drugs you are taking or have been taking prior to any surgery.
  * Inform your pathologist of all drugs you are taking prior to a diagnostic test.
  * Keep a written record of all drugs (and vaccines) you have taken during your pregnancy and reasons for their use.
  * Keep a written record of all of all drugs (and vaccines) to which you experienced allergic or adverse reactions.
  * Inform your doctor if you are on a special diet, low-salt or low-sugar diet.
  * Determine if you can drive a car, operate a machinery or engage in hazardous activity while on prescribed medication.
  * Determine if alcoholic beverages can be taken while on prescribed medication
  * Determine the course of action if you miss a dose of the prescribed drug.
    * Discard all outdated drugs. This will prevent used of drugs that have deteriorated with time.
    * Store all drugs away from the reach of children to prevent accidental poisoning.
    * Store all drugs away from heat, light, in airtight containers in a dry place.
    * Keep all appointments and follow-up medical examination to determine the effects of drugs and the course of your illness.
     
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