The SMART Coalition of California, a consortium of nonprofit consumer groups, has developed an educational program, Senior Medication Awareness and Training, to increase the proper use of medication among the elderly. The coalition suggests talking to your pharmacist and each physician you visit. Be sure to tell them of any medications, including over-the-counter products, you are taking and any allergies you may have to particular medicines.
The next time you get a prescription, ask these questions:
* What is the name of the medication, and what is it supposed to do?
* How and when do I take it--and for how long?
* What foods, drinks and other medicines or activities should I avoid while taking this medication?
* Are there any side effects, and what should I do if they occur?
* If I miss a dose, what should I do?
For more information, or to enroll in an educational program in your area, contact: SMART Coalition of California, P.O. Box 188528, Sacramento, CA 95818, call (916) 444-5401 or go to http://www.smartcoalition.org.