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Medication Safety Tips

Know Your Medications

Know the name and doses of your medicines.
Know why the medicine is important and what it treats.
Read your labels to learn what you are taking, how and when to take it, etc.
Know side effects.
Know how your medications interact with each other and any nonprescription drugs you may take, including pain killers, cold remedies and alcohol.
Know what to do if you miss a dose.
Know if you are allergic to any medicines.

Take Your Medicine!

Make sure you take your medicine in the correct dose. Use the measuring cup that comes with liquid medicines.
Take capsules or tablets whole, unless otherwise instructed.
Take your medicines at the right time(s).
Renew your medications in advance so you don't run out.

Keep Your Medications Safe

Keep your medications out of direct sunlight and heat.
Keep your medicine away from pets and children.
Don't store your medications with other family member medicines or household cleaners.
Keep medicines in their original bottles.

When You are in the Hospital

Identify yourself to the nurse before you take given medications.
Make sure your health care providers know all the medications you are taking.
Make sure your care providers know any medication allergies you may have.
Know which medicines you will need to take once you leave the hospital.

Other Tips

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have a problem taking the drug for any reason, including cost.
Ask if there is a generic brand available.
Make sure you got the right medicine from the pharmacy.
Keep a list of all medications you take.
Know your medicine allergies.
Report unusual side effects.
Ask if lower doses might be helpful depending on your age *or any kidney or liver problems.


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