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Have You Given Your Medicines a Check-Up Lately?

Getting and staying healthy often requires us to take medicine. And these days, we take more medicines than ever to maintain and improve our health. For people who take several medicines, there can be some unexpected reactions.

See Also: Make the Most of Your Meds Online Toolkit

Your first step could be an AARP “Brown Bag” Medication Review, held in collaboration with Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS). Pharmacists will volunteer their time to review, assess, and counsel participants on their medicine regime at these no-cost “Brown Bag” medication reviews.

“Medicine reviews are an effective, low-cost way to enhance communications about medicines and lead to better medicine use and better health outcomes,” said Dr. Cheryl Abel, Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice at MCPHS.

At each AARP “Brown Bag” Medication Review, pharmacists and pharmacy students will talk to participants about reducing the risk of adverse drug reactions with multiple medications, discover duplicate or outdated medications, clarify instructions and obtain information to help solve compliance problems.

Participants should arrive at the medication review with a bag full of their medications – prescription and over-the-counter. “Yes, over-the-counter medications such as creams, vitamins, dietary supplements and gels are considered drugs, even though you don’t need a prescription to purchase them,” added Dr. Abel. Prescription drugs should be carried in the original dispensing container.

To schedule an AARP “Brown Bag” Medication Review for you or someone you love, call the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at 603-314-1706. Instructions will be given on how to prepare, what to bring, and what you’ll learn. Reservations will be required and all reviews will be held at the Manchester campus of MCPHS at 1260 Elm Street in downtown Manchester.

In addition to leaving with a better understanding of the drugs they take, participants will take home a completed personal medication record they can then share with their physicians, pharmacists, and other health care providers.

“Keeping an up-to-date personal medication record is a key component in good health,” added Abel.

“When we act as partners with our doctors and pharmacists to understand, track and manage all of our medicines, we will be safer,” concluded Dr. Abel.

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