No matter what you’re doing this holiday season, don’t let your health get in the way. There are plenty of things you can consider when planning ahead with regards to your prescriptions and over-the-counter medications. A simple trip to the pharmacy can remove a lot of stress.
If you’re traveling:
Be prepared with an over-the-counter toolkit
If traveling abroad, it’s a good idea to research what over-the-counter medications to bring. For example, diarrhea or pain relief medications are helpful to have on hand. Securing what you need may be difficult once you find yourself in another country due to language barriers and availability. Stock up at your local pharmacy and go with what you know! For an example of what could be on your list, the Centre for Disease Control gives a good starting point here.
Keep your medications close
Even if you’re traveling more locally, make sure to pack your prescription medications in your carry on. The holiday season means a larger number of people moving through airports, and more bags to be mishandled or lost. There are no guarantees your luggage will arrive when you do. While a day without a change of clothes may be inconvenient, missing your medication could have more serious consequences.
Check your destination for proper storage
You likely have a place you store your medications at home. Make sure your destination also has a suitable location. Many medications should be stored in a cool, dry place, while others may require refrigeration. If you will be traveling with children, make sure there is somewhere to store medications out of reach or in a locked container.
Staying close to home:
Even if you’re staying home, business hours may change in December and January due to statutory holidays. Don’t get caught in front of a closed sign, especially if you need more specialized compounding. Double check your pharmacy’s holiday hours and be prepared for a few days off.
Visitors, days off work and special events mean your routine will be different and you’re more likely to forget to take your medications. Use a pill organizer to set out your medication by days and times. You can even talk to your pharmacist about blister packs which can organize your medications by day or time. Be sure to set reminders for when you need to take medication. A simple timer or a specialized smartphone app can be effective in making sure you don’t miss a dose.
Be aware of food-drug interactions
As your eating habits may also change over the holidays, make sure you’re aware of any potential interactions between certain foods and your medication. Specifically, alcohol and many medications should not be mixed so talk to your pharmacist for personalized information about what you need to be aware of.
We would love to take some of the stress out of your holidays. Come talk to a Pace Pharmacist and be prepared for a safe and happy holiday season.