Medication Topics

Ten Medication Principles to Remember

  1. Medications may not always work as intended.
  2. Medications may produce an effect that is different from the effect that was desired.
  3. Medications may produce no effect.
  4. Medications may produce an opposite effect than the desired effect.
  5. Medications may make a problem worse. These are called adverse effects (life threatening) or side effects (undesirable).
  6. Some medications can have good or bad reactions with other medications already being taken.
  7. Many medications taken for mood and behavior may take time to work (such as Lithium and antidepressants).
  8. Be patient when new medications are started. They may take 3-4 weeks to work and side effects may begin at once.
  9. Give medications on time and as prescribed.
  10. If someone has kidney or liver problems, medications may make these conditions worse. For any person taking medications, monitor and report the following:
    • changes in the color of the stool
    • changes in the color of the white part of the eye
    • changes in the color of tissue under the tongue
    • stomach pain or increase in size of the stomach
    • weight gain or swelling (edema)
    • cloudy urine with increased odor
    • blood in the urine or stool
    • increased, frequent, or decreased urine output.

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