Stay Current on Drug Information

From time to time we all have questions about medications. Questions like: What is a normal dose? Are there any dangerous side effects with this drug? Is it okay to take these different medications at the same time? Should this be taken with food? You should prepare resources for medication information before the questions arise. There are many available resources, including:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administrator (FDA) has a wealth of information, including side effect updates and new drug approvals, on their website at

Authorized Prescriber
The authorized prescriber who prescribed the medication, such as a physician or nurse practitioner, is a good resource for some information as well. He or she can tell you when the drug should be taken, whether or not it should be taken with food, why the resident is taking the drug, etc. Questions about a specific medication order should always be direct to the prescriber.

Medication Handbook
These books contain information related to every medication currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They usually include information about how the medication works, normal doses, side effects, drug interactions, and other administration recommendations. The books are often written to be used by nurses however they contain valuable information that can be used in the assisted living community as well.

The pharmacist is often the most helpful and accessible resource for medication information. Pharmacists devote their study and practice to medications, so obviously they can tell you virtually everything about a particular drug. In addition to the information from the medication handbook and the physician, pharmacists can provide you with printouts that give information about each drug. If you are ever concerned about a particular medication a resident is taking, the pharmacist can usually answer your questions.

Registered Nurses (RN) are trained in pharmacological therapy. Most RNs have a thorough working knowledge of general medication information, such as side effects, and special considerations.

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