What You Need to Know About Your Medicines
Taking Medicines Safely
Here are some tips to help you take your medicines safely:
- Follow instructions. Read all medicine labels. Make sure to take your medicines the right way. For example, don’t use an over-the-counter cough and cold syrup if you only have a runny nose and no cough.
- Use the right amount. Don’t take a larger dose of a medicine thinking it will help you more. It can be very dangerous, even deadly. And, don’t skip or take half doses of a prescription drug to save money.
- Take medicine on time. Some people use meals or bedtime as reminders to take their medicine. Other people use charts, calendars, or weekly pill boxes. You can also set timers and write reminders to take your medication.
- Turn on a light. Don’t take medicine in the dark; otherwise, you might make a mistake.
- Report problems. Call your doctor right away if you have any trouble with your prescription or over-the-counter medicine, or if you are worried that it might be doing more harm than good. There may be something else you can take.
- Tell your doctor about alcohol, tobacco, and drug use. Alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs can affect how well your medicines work. Be honest with your doctor about how much you use.
- Check before stopping. Take prescription medicine until it’s finished or until your doctor says it’s all right to stop. Note that some medicines are supposed to be taken only “as needed.”
- Don’t share. Do not take medicines prescribed for another person or give yours to someone else.