Medicines are there to help us when we’re sick but if they are stored or used in the wrong way, they can be dangerous. Sydney Local Health District’s Clinical Coordinator Joanna Tsang talks us through medicine labels and safe storage.
“Medicine labels explain what is in the product, what it’s for, who can use it and how to use it” says Ms Tsang. Writing down simple directions on the label can help families make sure that they use the medicine correctly.
One of the most important things to look for on the label is dosage. Giving someone too much medication can have serious consequences, especially in children. “The child can experience unwanted side effects and may need urgent medical attention” says Ms Tsang. On the flip side, not giving enough medication could mean it won’t work as well as it should.
For most medicines, it’s best to store them in a cool, dry place away from the sun. Some will need to be kept in the fridge – in a sealed container is best, separate from food and drinks. Most importantly, medicines must be kept out of reach of children.
“Children may think tablets are lollies and take them,” warns Ms Tsang. Young children might also do this as they explore the world around them, which can have serious consequences.
If you’re unsure about the right medicine dose for you or your child, or you’ve noticed unwanted side-effects, talk to your local pharmacist or doctor.