Older Adults and Multiple Medications



Older adults often take multiple medications. It can be hard to remember what each medicine is for, how much to take, and when to take it.

Here are some tips to help you keep track of all your medicines:

  • Make a list. Write down all medicines you take, including over-the-counter drugs and dietary supplements. The list should include the name of each medicine, the amount you take, and the time(s) you take it. If it’s a prescription, also note the doctor who prescribed it and reason it was prescribed. Show the list to all of your healthcare providers, including physical therapists and dentists. Keep one copy in your medicine cabinet and one in your wallet or pocketbook.
  • Create a file. Save all the written information that comes with your medicines and keep it somewhere you can easily refer to, as needed.
  • Check expiration dates on bottles. If a medicine is past its expiration date, you may be able to dispose of it at your pharmacy. Or, check with your doctor about how to safely discard it. Your doctor can also tell you if you will need a refill.

Visit our website to read more about using medicines safely.

Share this information with older adults and caregivers on social media:

Twitter: Check out these tips for keeping track of your #medicines from the National Institute on Aging: http://bit.ly/2hlngcE

Facebook: Older adults often take multiple medications. Get tips on keeping track of medicines from the National Institute on Aging. http://bit.ly/2gsbCIn

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