Measuring prescription medication for your child

Nearly all small children are prescribed liquid medication until they are old enough to swallow capsules. As a result, it’s important that adults be informed about the proper way to dispense the medication and protect their children’s health. According to the FDA, some of the most common types of dosing instruments include:

Dosage cups: These cups are designed for children who are old enough to drink from a cup without spilling. Adults should be sure to look carefully at the small numbers printed on the side of the cup to determine the correct fill level. Medicine should then be poured to that exact level when the cup is sitting on a flat surface.
Droppers: These are geared toward children who cannot drink from a cup, and require the adult to squeeze the proper amount of medication into the child’s mouth. Like the dosage cups, medicine must be brought to the exact line on the side of the dropper that was recommended by a doctor. Adults should squeeze the liquid quickly out of the dropper so it cannot fall on the floor before it gets into the child’s mouth.
Cylindrical dosage spoons: These spoons look like a large straw with a spoon at one end and are used for children who can drink from a cup, but are likely to spill. In this case, adults should again fill the liquid to the appropriate marked line and be sure it is even at eye level. Children then drink the medicine from the spoon.

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about your child’s prescription medication. It’s important to be educated so you can protect the health of your young child.

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Questions to ask about child prescriptions

If your child needs medication to recover from an illness, talk to your True Dental Discounts prescription plan doctor about the medicine she has prescribed before you take it home. Some questions to ask include:

  • What exactly is the drug? What does it prevent or do?
  • How often does my child need to take this medication? In what dosage?
  • What side effects come with taking this medication? Should I be alert for any changes in condition?
  • How soon after taking the medication will it start working?
  • What if my child skips a dose?
  • How long should I continue giving my child this medicine?
  • Should I continue administering the remaining medication, even if the child appears to be recovered?
  • Could this medication possibly interfere with another medication my child currently takes?

This prescription can cause what?

Television commercials for prescription drugs today are filled with disclaimers about the risks of side effects. All drugs – even aspirin – have side effects, but they range from minor and slightly irritating to very serious. According to pharmacist Jim Morelli, the most common side effects of medication involve the gastrointestinal system (such as upset stomachs). Fortunately, the FDA must approve all new drugs released on the market to protect consumers and weigh the benefits vs. risks of each medication. However, many side effects are not known until after the product has been released. Because of this, the FDA recently mandated that all dispensed prescriptions (as well as many over-the-counter medications) must be labeled with a toll-free number. This number gives anyone the opportunity to report adverse effects they experience from taking the medication.

The risk of side effects alone should not discourage people from taking medicine that is necessary for their health, so talk to your True Dental Discounts doctor or pharmacist about any potential effects of prescriptions you’ve been taking. He or she can explain the benefits vs. risks of each drug and show you how to prevent certain irritating symptoms such as dry mouth. If you do happen to notice adverse effects from your prescriptions, it is important to tell your doctor because he or she can help you find a different prescription that works best for your body and your overall health.

Disposing your prescription medication properly

We hear a lot about protecting the environment through the use of reusable grocery bags and buying fuel-efficient cars, but what about your prescriptions? It turns out that the way you dispose of your medication can make a difference in the impact you have on the environment. According to smarxtdisposal.net, a site sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the American Pharmacists Association and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, there are several steps you can take when you find yourself with extra prescription medication.

First, you should never flush or pour unused medicines down a sink, drain or toilet. There are a few exceptions, but the majority of medicines should not be discarded in this manner because they could contaminate water sources. Second, when disposing of medication in the trash, make sure you pour liquid medication into a sealable plastic bag. If it is a solid pill or capsule, you should first crush it or dissolve it in water. Then, add an unappealing substance like kitty litter or sawdust to the bag so that it will not be consumed by children or pets. Finally, seal the bag and put it in the trash. You should also be sure to check for state and local waste collection programs. Many states allow people to take their unused medications to a local pharmacy or other location to be disposed, or you may have access to a household hazardous waste collection program.

If you have any questions about the proper disposal of your unused prescription medication, don’t hesitate to contact your pharmacist. This is also a great opportunity to talk to your pharmacist about your True Dental Discounts, discount plan and the benefits available to you through this program. By working together with your pharmacist, you can be sure you’re getting the safest and most cost-efficient prescriptions on the market.

Tips for saving on prescription drugs

In recent years, the cost of prescription drugs has skyrocketed, leaving many people to face tough decisions about the medicine they purchase. As the number of senior citizens rises, so does the number of prescriptions being filled every day in the United States. The AARP suggests that drug makers increased the cost of their brand-name medications for older people by 7.4 percent in 2007. This is just one example of the upturn prescription costs have taken. While it’s certainly a challenge to make sure you get the most for your money when it comes to medicine, here are a few tips that will help you, courtesy of the Associated Press:

  • Research your prescriptions at home before going to the pharmacy. Often, even though two drug stores may be only minutes apart, their medication costs may be very different. Call ahead to see which one will offer you the lowest price.
  • Get generic brands of your medication. Research has shown that generic brands are no less effective than their name-brand counterparts, and they’re sold at a fraction of the cost. Plus, generic alternatives are available for 8,730 of the FDA-approved drugs, according to the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, which means you’ll probably find one for your particular prescription.
  • Order your prescriptions by mail. Often, pharmacy programs will give people discounts for having their prescriptions fill through the mail, particularly if you order a few months’ supplies at a time.

But, as helpful as these cost-saving tips are, there’s one more solution you should keep in mind to dramatically reduce the cost of your prescriptions. By using your True Dental Discounts prescription discount card, you can expect a reduction on 80 to 90 percent of your required, acute care prescription needs. Just bring your card with you to the pharmacy and use it to cover prescriptions filled for any member of your family. On average, True Dental Discounts members saved 35 percent on their prescriptions in September 2008. Make sure you’re a part of that savings by combining these tips with the advantages you get from being a True Dental Discounts member. It’s certainly the best way to save money on all your prescription needs.