Know What to Do About the Flu
It is now recommended that everyone age 6 months and older get vaccinated against seasonal flu annually.
Visit this webpage for more information about the flu, what you can do to protect yourself, and to locate a flu clinic near you.
Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work
Are you aware that colds, flu, most sore throats, and bronchitis are caused by viruses? Did you know that antibiotics do not help fight viruses? It's true. Plus, taking antibiotics when you have a virus may do more harm than good. Taking antibiotics when they are not needed increases your risk of getting an infection later that resists antibiotic treatment.
What To Do
- Talk with your healthcare provider about antibiotic resistance.
- When you are prescribed an antibiotic,
- Take it exactly as the doctor tells you. Complete the prescribed course even if you are feeling better. If treatment stops too soon, some bacteria may survive and re-infect you.
- This goes for children, too. Make sure your children take all medication as prescribed, even if they feel better.
- Throw away any leftover medication once you have completed your prescription
What Not To Do
- Antibiotics cure bacteria, not viruses such as:
- Colds or flu;
- Most coughs and bronchitis;
- Sore throats not caused by strep; or
- Runny noses.
Visit the CDC's Get Smart Campaign webpage for more information and useful tools.
Know Your Dose: Are You Taking Too Much Medicine?
Acetaminophen is found in more than 600 different prescription and over-the-counter medications, incluing pain relievers, fever reducers, and sleep aids as well as cough, cold, and allergy medication. When used as directed, it is safe and effective. But taking more than directed is an overdose and can lead to liver damage.
The Know Your Dose campaign educates patients and consumers on how to safely use medications containing acetaminophen. Download a Know Your Dose Campaign Flyer.
Safe Storage and Disposal of Medication
Here are a few tips about safe storage of medications in the home:
- Periodically organize and keep track of your medications.
- Keep all of your medications in one place and out of reach of children.
- Keep track of the amount of medication you have frequently to make sure no one else is taking it.
- Organize or store medications for different family members separately to avoid the risk of mistakenly taking the wrong medications.
- Whenever possible, try to keep medications in their original containers or packaging. The original packaging has useful information such as dosing, expiration date and pharmacy contact information.
- Don’t combine different medications.
- Check the expiration date of the medication and dispose of any expired medicine.
- Don’t keep medication once you no longer need it. This will help keep it out of the hands of children and others who should take the medication.
- Don’t share medication with anyone else. Prescription medications are prescribed by medical professionals based on a person’s individual medical condition and history.
The Department of Health Services recommends that students who live on campus keep their prescription medications in a locked cabinet, drawer, or medication safe (lock box).
Do you have medication that has expired or you no longer use? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends following these tips for safe disposal of your medication:
- Most medications can be thrown in the household trash, but consumers should take certain precautions before tossing them out. (Do not flush prescription drugs down the toilet unless this information specifically instructs you to do so.)
- Take the medication out of their original containers and mix them with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter. The medication will be less appealing to children and pets, and unrecognizable to people who may intentionally go through your trash.
- Put the medication in a sealable bag, empty can, or other container to prevent the medication from leaking or breaking out of a garbage bag
- Before throwing out a medicine container, scratch out all identifying information on the prescription label to make it unreadable. This will help protect your identity and the privacy of your personal health information.
- When in doubt about proper disposal, talk to your pharmacist.
Affordable Care Act Extends Health Insurance Coverage Benefit for College Graduates & Young Adults
Under the Affordable Care Act, many young adults--including college and university graduates--are eligible to remain on their parents' health insurance plan until their 26th birthday.
Download this document which outlines the benefits available to young adults through the Affordable Care Act.
Information for young adults and parents about coverage for individuals under age 26 is also available on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/youngadultcoverage.
Anyone can find insurance options and access a personalized list of private insurance plans, public programs and community services that are available to you at http://finder.healthcare.gov.