ANNOUNCER: Often doctors don't know all the medicines a patient is taking. So the second item on the safety checklist is: Bring them in.
GREGG S. MEYER, MD: Another very simple step that's very effective that I love my patients to do is come in the office with a brown bag. Take all the medications you're actively taking, put them in the bag. Bring them to your doctor's office, put them on the desk and go through them. It takes only moments, but the improvement to your safety is really, really important.
ANNOUNCER: Vitamins, herbs, over-the-counter, and alternative medicines of any kind, should also be checked.
GREGG S. MEYER, MD: Many of these supplements are relatively benign and don't have any interactions, but some do, and some of those interactions can be important and can influence the safety of medications that your doctor may prescribe for you.
ANNOUNCER: Keeping track of your medications also means having that information available when a doctor might need it quickly. While your pharmacist may be able to print out a list, the task becomes more complicated as people use multiple drug stores, and order drugs online.
Carolyn Clancy, MD: People should have a list of their medications with them. You never know when an emergency is going to come up,and knowing what medicines you're on is incredibly helpful information.
ANNOUNCER: Item three on the safety checklist is: Make sure your medicine is what was ordered, and that you know how to take it.