// March 17, 2016

Medication Safety 101: Join in Twitter Chat on Safe Usage, Storage and Disposal of OTCs

Twitter Chat for Patients on Medication Safety

By the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE), a non-profit coalition of diverse member organizations committed to improving communication of information on appropriate use of medicines to consumers and healthcare professionals. NCPIE is a USP Convention member organization. 

How do you choose the right over-the-counter (OTC) drug for you? Are you storing your medications properly? Do you know how to properly dispose of outdated OTC products?

Learn answers to these important medication questions and more during a special live Twitter Chat “Medication Safety 101: Usage, Storage, and Disposal” on Wednesday, March 23, at 1 p.m. (EST).

Hosted by the Alliance for Aging Research, in partnership with NCPIE, the Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition, the American Association of Poison Control Centers, and the CHPA Educational Foundation, this online discussion aims to answer common patient questions on how to safely choose, take, store, and dispose of OTC medications.  

The Twitter chat is part of a greater campaign to raise aware about medication safety in observance of National Poison Prevention Week (March 20-26). “Many times, the focus on medication safety is placed on prescription drugs, but understanding how to use, store and dispose of OTC drugs is equally important,” notes Deborah Davidson, NCPIE’s Membership Director. “For example, people frequently combine OTC and prescription medications when treating multiple symptoms. Through research, we’ve found that only one person in 10 reads the entire label of each drug taken. Many are unaware of potentially toxic duplications or harmful interactions.”

Intended for both patients and healthcare providers, the Twitter chat will focus on tips on how and when to take (and not take) medication, guidance on safely storing medications to keep them out of the hands of young children and those who might want to abuse medications, and Information on how to safely dispose of unwanted medications. Sample questions include:

  • How do you know if a medication is right for you?
  • What are some tips for remembering what you took and when?
  • Is it ok to store your medications outside of their original packaging?
  • What do you do if your medication is tampered with, damaged, or expired?
  • Is it safe to flush unwanted medications?
  • What are some of the symptoms of a medication overdose?
  • What should you do if you take more than the recommended amount of a medication?

The Twitter chat format was chosen due to its ability to instantly connect with patients and answer questions in real time, provide links to related resources, and offer a live public forum for participant discussion. Staff members from the host organizations will post and answer questions and encourage followers to respond and discuss the topics. 

Participating is easy. On March 23, at 1:00 p.m., just go to Twitter.com and search for #SafeMedsChat or follow @aging_research or @TweetNcpie.  To respond, you will need to be logged into an active Twitter account. If you have questions about this activity, please contact Noel Lloyd at nlloyd@agingresearch.org or 202-293-2856.

We look forward to your participation!

USP & NCPIE: USP has served continuously on NCPIE’s board of directors since NCPIE’s founding in 1982, and is a voting board member within the healthcare professional organizations membership category. 

NOTE: USP is not a sponsor or affiliated with this event.  The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of NCPIE and should not be interpreted to be those of the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention.