Complete Medication List: A Simple Way to Avoid Drug-Drug Interactions

Overview

Managing your diabetes includes not only controlling your blood glucose levels, but decreasing the possibility of diabetes-related complications, such as cardiovascular disease and problems with your eyes, kidneys and skin.

Medication can help control your blood glucose levels, and is often also used to help manage your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as protect your kidneys. Many people with diabetes are on several different medications at one time. Some of these medications can interfere with each other, or even cause adverse reactions.

Because different doctors at multiple institutions may have prescribed your medications, it’s essential for you to keep a complete list of all the medications you’re taking. Please bring this list with you every time you have an appointment. This will help your health-care provider check for any potential drug interactions and make sure that your combination of medications is working to effectively manage your diabetes.

Procedural Details

Prevention of drug-drug interactions:
  • Always bring your complete medication list to each appointment. In the list, include pertinent information such as name of the medications, your dosage and the frequency you take them. If you cannot make a list and you have any questions about your medications, simply bring the bottles themselves to your appointment.
  • Be your own advocate and ask your provider or pharmacist if there are any potential drug interactions between your current medication list and any new medication.
  • Inform your providers if you’ve received any new medication (or if there are any other changes to your medications) from another provider.
  • Make sure you see your provider on a regular basis for diabetes monitoring and laboratory testing to help identify potential adverse drug reactions.
  • Please refer to the Washington Patient Safety Coalition website for examples of comprehensive medication lists. You can use the handy templates to create your own medication list.

Considerations

If you take multiple medications, you should carry a complete and accurate medication list at all times.

Effectiveness

A complete medication list will help prevent duplication of medications and adverse drug interactions, as well as help your doctor monitor you for side effects.

Urgency

If you take multiple medications, you should create and start carrying with you a complete and accurate medication list as soon as possible. And be sure to bring it with you every time you visit the clinic or the hospital.