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Hamilton Health Sciences Home
March 14, 2017

How to make an accurate list of your current medications

Having an accurate and detailed list of the medications you take is very important.

When you visit the doctor or pharmacist, they need to know what medications you’re taking so they can ensure any new medications they give you don’t cause problems with your current ones. Knowing the name and dose of your medications, as well as how often and when you take them helps to avoid medication error, which can be very serious. Negative interactions between two medications, or an accidental overdose can be very harmful, and may even result in death

At Hamilton Health Sciences, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians play an important role in preventing medication errors by completing a ‘best possible medication history’ with patients. This is part of a process called medication reconciliation.

You can help by bringing an up-to-date list of the medications you’re taking. Learn how in this quick video with clinical pharmacist, Ivana Jankovic.

To enhance your list, you may also include information like who prescribed the medication, the date it was prescribed and how long your doctor told you to take it for.

In addition to keeping track of your current medications, it’s important to ask questions about them, and any new medications you’re being prescribed.

During an appointment with a clinical pharmacist or doctor, have these five questions handy:

  1. Have any medications been added, stopped or changed? Why?
  2. What medications do I need to continue taking and why?
  3. How do I take my medications and for how long?
  4. How will I know if my medication is working and what do I watch for?
  5. Do I need any tests and when do I book my next visit?

By coming prepared to appointments, and playing an active role in your health care, you can reduce the risk of medication errors and potential harm.

You can download a printable form where you can track your medications.