You realized that you forgot to take your cholesterol medication before you got into bed, so you stumbled out of bed in the dark and reached for your pill bottle without turning on the lights. After getting the pill bottle open, you popped a pill and went back to bed. But what if you took the wrong pill? You may have grabbed another one of your medications or your spouse’s pill bottle by mistake.
Unfortunately, taking pills in a dark room can lead to taking the wrong medication, a double dose—or an overdose—of another medication you previously took earlier in the day, or a drug intended for someone else such as your spouse. For example, if you took your spouse’s medication by mistake, the active ingredients in that pill can be harmful to you or interact with the medication already in your system. Because serious consequences can come from taking pills without the lights on, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) actually warns against taking medications in the dark.
Since taking pills in a dark room can actually lead to taking medications incorrectly, the FDA encourages consumers to take their pills in a well-lit room and to read the drug labels and directions first in order to ensure the right medicine is being taken in the right way. According to the FDA, almost half of all Americans don’t take their medications as directed, which can cause harmful medication mistakes. What’s sad is that most of these errors could have been prevented if medications were taken properly.
Because we want to help others reduce medication errors, we encourage you to share this information with your circles on Google+.