Posted July 26, 2013 by Jennifer Kane in How To

Ask the pharmacist: How to avoid medication misfortune during a natural disaster

No matter whether it&rsquos plywood, bottled water or generators, Americans collect the required supplies and seek the acceptable shelter if confronted by the wrath of Mother Nature. Regardless of the disaster &ndash hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires &ndash lives can be turned upside-down in an immediate. Some of the most frequently overlooked products, as people stock up for emergencies, are prescription medications. In some situations, not obtaining access to required medication can itself be a life-threatening scenario.

&ldquoPeople with wellness circumstances such as diabetes, asthma or heart troubles need to be especially vigilant about generating confident they have access to their drugs when preparing for the aftermath of a natural disaster,&rdquo says Paul Reyes, Express Scripts pharmacist and host of the Ask the Pharmacist radio series. &ldquoIt&rsquos very crucial that you have your medicines with you if you have to leave your home or at least have the proper information so that you can rapidly get a provide of medication if required. There is a lot of tension and worry in an emergency scenario and you want to avoid having your drug remedies add to your issues.&rdquo

Reyes offers the following tips to help keep away from medication blunders when facing a weather-associated emergency.

* Pack and prepare your pills: Keep an updated list of all prescription and over-the-counter drugs (like the name of the drug, the dosage and the situation becoming treated) with you in a waterproof container or bag. Contain telephone numbers for all of your doctors and pharmacies in case you or an emergency worker requirements to make contact with them. If you are concerned about potential evacuations, contemplate storing your drugs in 1 spot for faster access.

* Carry your prescription card: It&rsquos crucial to often carry your prescription drug membership card. Your pharmacy benefit provider or wellness program can assist you obtain an emergency provide of any lost or broken medication.

* Develop a program: Consider discussing your medication disaster strategy with your physician, especially if the medication you take has special handling instructions or demands electronic gear (such as a nebulizer) or refrigeration. Make confident you have at least 3 days&rsquo worth of medication and supplies with you (more if neighborhood authorities advise). Ordering a 90-day provide of medication by means of your program&rsquos mail-order pharmacy is a simple way to ensure a complete stock.

If you do encounter an emergency circumstance, it&rsquos important to think about the following:

* Medication safety: Medications that are exposed to moisture, excessive heat or just left at area temperature when they ought to be refrigerated might become contaminated. Inspect drugs to see if the appear or smell of it has changed. Get in touch with a regional pharmacist or health care provider to aid figure out if a drug is safe to use.

* Skipping doses: If you haven&rsquot been able to take your medication, contact a pharmacist or doctor as quickly as attainable, even if you&rsquore not experiencing any negative well being effects. If you&rsquove skipped doses of your medication, never ever take extra doses to make up for these you&rsquove missed before talking to a well being care practitioner.

For a lot more sources and information, check out Express Scripts&rsquo Healthcare Insights weblog at lab.express-scripts.com.

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Jennifer Kane