Twitter Chat Transcript - 3/29 | Illinois Poison Center 

Twitter Chat Transcript - 3/29

Nov 26, 2020
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Twitter Chat Transcript

3/29/2012 – 1pm- 2pm

Lead by: Dr. Carol DesLauriers, @ILPoisonCenter

Topic : Medication Safety

Hashtag: #poisonctrchat


Good afternoon, welcome to the last  #poisonctrchat

Today's topic is medication safety. I'm Carol DesLauriers, the operations director of IPC. I have my doctorate in pharmacy.  

Did you know a medication error is considered a type of poisoning, and you can call the IPC for advice?  

IPC can answer your medication questions-all of our staff are Health care professionals and half are pharmacists.  

Poisoning kills more than guns and car crashes; 9/10 of poisoning deaths are due to drugs/medications  

Q1: Why is it important to not take medicine on an empty stomach?  

A1: Depends on the med. some need to be taken w food, others w/o usually has to do with absorption of the drug  .

Q2: What's the real deal with expiration dates? Is it like milk? A little over is ok?  

A2: Yes, a little over is fine. Vast majority of drugs-expired is not dangerous. Just may be a wee bit less effective.


Med safe tip: always use measuring device for liquid meds, NEVER USE EATING SPOONS. They are super inaccurate. OR even worse, take swigs straight from the bottle ((shudder))  

Q3: My daughter loves play dough but can't seem to keep it out of her mouth, is this dangerous?  

A3: Play-doh is non-toxic, although it can be a choking hazard & can cause intestinal issues of large amts ingested.



Med safe tip: Use child-resistant caps on meds, but remember it’s child-resistant, not child-PROOF.  

Med safe tip: Never take meds in the dark and check the label every time (all those rx bottles look alike!)  

Med safe tip: When giving kids meds, don't call it candy or make a game out of taking it later when they want more 'candy' or some attention, they will go looking for more medicine.


Q5: I'm considering making my own household cleaning solutions. How much safer are these for my kids?  

A5: Natural/homemade cleaners may not be safer, depending. Household pdts are safe when used as directed just make sure to follow pkg directions, keep locked up out of sight of kids, keep in original bottles.

Q6: I know it’s wrong to take someone else’s medicine but what if you have the same prescription?

A6: If you have your own prescription, you shouldn't need someone else's! I'd still avoid, the dose could be different.  


Med safe tip: Know the names of all your medications and what they are for .

Med safe tip: Pill boxes can help keep your meds straight, but remember they are not child/pet resistant .

Q7: How many boxes of allergy medicine can I buy behind the pharmacy counter before I'm put on a suspected meth-maker watchlist?  

A7: More than you would need for any cold!  


Med safe tip: the first time you take a new med, do it when you can be at home and have nothing planned for the day not when you're about to get on a plane, or go to a job interview! Different people have different levels of side effects.

Take Your Medication Safely: Great Blog by @AAPCC  

Med safe tip: if you are on prescription meds, check with a pharmacist or IPC before taking over the counter meds .


Q8: If I have old medications in my house what is the best way to dispose of them?

A8: mix with coffee grounds or cat litter, put in plastic bag and into outside trash (for most meds) for certain opiates, you should just flush those because of their overdose potential. more info... at


Med safe tip: if you want to cut or crush your meds, check with a pharmacist or IPC first; some cause probs if this is done.

What are some medication safety tips that you practice in your home?  

Q9: Is it ok to give children under 12 adlt medicine if the amount is < recommend for adults? 

 A9: No! Kids systems r developmentally different; they're not just 'little adults'. Never give kids meds w/o MD direction. But good question and a common one!  

Q10: What measures should you take if a child accidentally mistake medicine for can?  

A10: The first thing you should do is call IPC 1-800-222-1222.



Don’t ever be too embarrassed to call the IPC – we’re here to help!  Not judge or criticize.  


Ever wonder what types of calls we get @ the poison center then read Day in the Life of a Poison Center  

Interested in learning more about poison prevention? Then take our free online course  

Thanks for your questions, hope you learned something new today.  

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