Want to watch this video? Sign up for the course here. Or enter your email below to watch one free video.

Unlock This Video Now for FREE

This video is normally available to paying customers.
You may unlock this video for FREE. Enter your email address for instant access AND to receive ongoing updates and special discounts related to this topic.

With regards to precautions, it is important that the medication is administered exactly the way it's prescribed. If a medication has to be taken with food, it must be taken with food. Medication that's supposed to be with food that's taken without can cause problems with the stomach and can lead to stomach ulcers. Some medications such as certain antibiotics, need to be taken on an empty stomach because otherwise they may be absorbed into the bloodstream too quickly. Also, some medications can be destroyed by the stomach acid. Tablets cannot be crushed unless written guidance is in place by the prescribing G.P or by a pharmacist, as doing this can reduce the efficiency of the medication. Another point to remember is that medication can only be broken if there's a score mark on it, for ease of administration, but if so then a reduction of dose should be prescribed and completed by the pharmacy.

Recognising the side effects of medication is very important, and the instruction leaflet provided should list both the common and rare side effects. Any side effect that you can think of will probably be in one of the lists. Here are some of the most common: Rashes, breathing difficulties, swellings, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stiffness, shaking, headaches, drowsiness, constipation and weight gain. When we are dealing with medication, it's important to be aware of your client or service user's base level. For example, if you gave somebody some medication and you noticed shortly after that their breathing had changed, this would need to be reported. But that could be the person's normal breathing pattern, so that's why it's very important to know what your client or service user is usually like.

If you do notice any changes after any medication has been given, it's important to report this to your line manager. You need to document it and, if necessary, let the GP know. Obviously, if the reaction is severe then you would need to call the emergency services. Some changes in an individual can be seen straight away, as soon as you give the medication you may notice a change very quickly. Some changes can be as a result of a build-up of medication, so it's important to document even the slightest change.

Let’s look at absorption, distribution, activity, metabolism and excretion. After being swallowed, medication passes into the stomach and bloodstream. It then starts to distribute itself throughout the body. Liver enzymes break down the medication, and the medication is then excreted by the kidneys. So, with regards to precautions, you need to make sure that your client or service user is sitting or standing when taking their medication, so they're not taking it whilst walking along the corridor. Good hygiene practice is also very important. You don't need to touch any medication. If for some reason you do, always wear gloves and wash your hands before and after. Fruit juices should be avoided and tablets need to be taken with water. This ensures that they are washed down and not absorbed into the body too quickly. Always ensure that medication is given to the exact prescription; anything given outside of this could be damaging to your service user or client.