As reported by the Bristol Press, December 14, 2004.

Keeping Track of Meds

FARMINGTON -- Weíre taking more prescription drugs than ever. About 44 percent of Americans take at least one prescription drug and one in six takes three or more, according to the most recent data from the U.S. government. Add to that over-the-counter medications, vitamins, supplements and herbals and the list can get pretty long.

To help keep track of your medication regime, the UConn Health Center is offering free pocket medication cards on-line or by mail.

When you have the card, simply fill in your personal medication information and include details about each medication, such as its name, strength, dose, frequency and reason for taking it. Also include any vitamins, supplements, over-the-counter products, and natural or alternative medicine remedies you may be taking. Record allergies as well.

The tri-fold business-size card fits nicely into a wallet, where itís readily available during routine and emergency medical care. Share it with your regular physician, specialists you may be seeing, and pharmacist, and always have it updated with each doctor or hospital visit.

"With more people, taking more medications, itís very important to keep track of all medications to avoid potentially dangerous outcomes from accidental double-dosing, skipping medication, or combining contraindicated drugs and medications," said Dr. Karen Garibaldi, UConn Health Center primary care physician. "Patients should follow the dosage instructions given by their physicians, and contact them with questions or concerns about their medications or if their symptoms worsen."

To download a medication card, visit http://health.uchc.edu/. To receive a free card by mail, call UConnLink, 1-800-535-6232.