Medications

You and your loved ones should always know about all of the medicines you are taking and the purpose of those medications. While you are here, our pharmacists will make sure you get the right medications for your illness. The pharmacy staff will work with your doctor and nurses to prescribe medications that best treat your condition.

Why should I bring my medications from home?

You may be asked to bring in your medicines from home. This allows your health-care team to see what you are taking at home.

If you have a list of your medications, please give it your nurse.

Why can’t I take my own medications?

Because your well-being and safety are our most important concerns, it is Palomar Health’s policy to provide all medications to you while you are staying at the hospital. If you have any questions about your medications, please contact your nurse, physician or pharmacist.

Here are some other reasons why your medicines should be managed by your health-care team and given to you by your nurse:

  • Your doctor may want to give you a new medicine. Some medicines cannot be given with other medicines. These new medicines may cause a “drug interaction” and can decrease or increase the effects of your regular medications.
  • Medications that you take while in the hospital, like sedatives or pain medicines, may cause sleepiness or confusion. These side effects make self-administration of home medicines risky.
  • Your health-care team may need to change what times your medications are taken because many tests or procedures require that you not take your medications or that you take them at a different time.
  • Some medicines should not be taken before a test or surgery.

What happens before I am given a medication?

All medication ordered by your doctor is reviewed by a pharmacist and your nurse.

Before receiving any medication in the hospital your doctor or nurse will:

  • Check your arm band to ensure you are receiving the correct medication.
  • Check your allergies.
  • Tell you about the medications we are giving you.

How can I help with my medications?

Please ask these questions before taking a medication:

  • What is this medication?
  •  Why am I taking this medication?
  • How often should I take this medication?
  •  What are the side effects?

What about medications for when I go home?

On the day of discharge, your doctor and nurse will give you a form that lists all the medications to take at home. The nurse will review all of your medications with you and you may be given a new prescription.

  • If your doctor writes your prescription by hand, make sure you or a family member can read and understand it.  If you cannot read your doctor's handwriting, please tell your nurse.
  • If your doctor sends your prescription to your pharmacy electronically, ask for a copy of the prescription.

Pharmacists are available to speak with you to help you understand why your medications were prescribed, what they are treating, what the side effects are and how to take your medications at home safely. To speak with a pharmacist, please contact your nurse.