How to safely manage your medications this holiday season19 Dec 2018
Summer is here and many of us travel over the Christmas and New Year period.
But what happens if you run out of your medications or lose them while you are away?
Pharmacist Gerard Stevens share his top tips for peace of mind with medication this holiday season.
“Safe medications make safe holidays,” says Mr Stevens. “There are a few simple things people can do to ensure they are prepared for happy and healthy holidays.”
Carry your medication profile with you
If you’re on medications, especially life-saving ones – as many of us are – it can be of great concern if you run short a long way from home. It may be critical that you don’t miss a dose. Being able to explain exactly what you take and what dose can be an issue.
“Around one-in-five people aged 70 or older are on four or more medications, which they truly need. It can be difficult to remember all of the names and correct dosages,” warned Mr Stevens, who is also Managing Director and founder of Australian medication systems company Webstercare.
“One solution is Webstercare's PocketProfile Card. It contains a person's entire medication profile, including images of medications, and folds down to the size of a credit card, so it’s easy to keep in your purse or wallet. “In an age where things are increasingly digital, users of the PocketProfile Card don’t need the latest gadgets, apps and electronic devices – it won’t run out of charge and it won’t shut down.
The PocketProfile also contains the person's home pharmacy and phone number, enabling a pharmacist at a holiday destination to simply ring the home pharmacy to confirm the medications that were prescribed before issuing emergency replacement medications to last the remainder of the holiday.
“It is particularly helpful in emergency situations; medical staff can immediately see a patient's medications and any other medical concerns. It also contains ‘in case of emergency’ contact details,” said Mr Stevens, the inventor of the PocketProfile™ Medicines List.
Your local pharmacist can prepare medications for the trip
It is a good idea to get a pack made up by your local pharmacist to ensure you have enough medication required for the duration of the trip and to ensure you also remember that you've taken your recommended doses.
The most widely used pack in Australia is the Webster-pak®. It sets out all the tablets and capsules that need to be taken at each particular time of the day, for each day of the week.
This makes it easy to manage medication. The pharmacist takes the doctor's prescriptions and dispenses the medication into a blister pack.
It is also possible to get a smaller version called the Webster-pak Interim, which is a disposable medication pack that can accommodate medication for a period of four days. Initially designed for ‘Hospital Discharge’ patients, to allow for the continuous supply of medication, it can be used in any situation when a short supply of medication is required.
If going overseas, check your medication is legal
Some medications that are legal in Australia may be prohibited overseas. You can contact the Australian embassies in the countries you intend visiting to check. Make sure you take enough regular medication with you to last the entire trip as some drugs may not be available overseas.
“If you are travelling with prescribed medicine, ensure that it stays in the box with your name and pharmacy sticker on it to prove they are yours,” says Mr Stevens. “If you are taking a large amount of medication with you, it’s wise to get a l
“Your local pharmacist is a wealth of knowledge and information. If in doubt they can provide trusted advice to ensure that you’re prepared to go on a safe and wonderful holiday.”etter from your doctor stating why this is necessary.