Eye Medication Safety Tips

It starts with good communication. Before your eye doctor prescribes a drug, tell him or her if:

  • You’re allergic to any medication
  • You’re on any other drugs, including over-the-counter ones
  • You’re pregnant or think you might be
  • You have problems with any medications

When you take eye medication, follow these safety tips:

  • Read all labels carefully.
  • Know exactly why you’re supposed to take each drug.
  • Keep a list of all your medications and their dosages with you. Eye drops, certain skin lotions, and vitamins are considered drugs and should be on your list.
  • Take your meds exactly as your doctor prescribed.
  • Review possible side effects. Most reactions will occur when you start a new medication, but this isn’t always the case. They might be delayed or might happen when you add another drug.
  • Don’t stop treatment unless you talk to your doctor first or you have a serious side effect. Call him or her as soon as possible if you feel you need to stop the medication. If you quit too early, the illness might return or become harder to treat.
  • Don’t double the dose unless your doctor says to.
  • If you miss a dose, don't panic. Take it as soon as you remember. But if it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your schedule.
  • Don’t keep medication that’s outdated or no longer needed.
  • Store it in a dry area away from moisture, unless the doctor or pharmacist tells you to refrigerate it.
  • Always keep medications out of the reach of children.
  • Contact your doctor right away if you have any unusual side effects.
  • Don’t share your medications with others.
  • If you store your medications in a container, label it with the drug name, dose, frequency, and expiration date.
  • Know when your medications will run out. Renew you prescriptions as you need them.
  • Buy your medications at the same pharmacy, if you can.
  • When you travel, don’t pack medications in your checked baggage. Keep them in your carry-on bag so you’ll have them if your luggage gets lost.
  • Take extra doses with you when you travel in case your flight is delayed and you need to stay away longer than planned.
  • If you have any questions about your medication, ask your doctor.

 

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Should You Change Your Diet?

Ask your doctor how food will affect the medication. Some things prevent your body from absorbing drugs into your bloodstream. Some foods can increase the potency of drugs. And some drugs need to be taken with food so that your stomach won't get upset.

Pregnant? Let Your Doctor Know

Tell the doctor if you’re expecting or breastfeeding. Small amounts of medication can pass from mother to child.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Brian S. Boxer Wachler, MD on September 6, 2018

Sources

SOURCES:

Institute for Safe Medication Practices: "Lessons to Be Learned From Past Errors," "General Advice on Safe Medication Use."

FDA: "6 Tips to Avoid Medication Mistakes."

American Society of Health-System Pharmacists: "Using Medications Safely."

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: "Check Your Medicines: Tips for Using Medicines Safely."

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