Using Medications Safely

June 27, 2022
Using Medications Safely

Medication can help you feel better, stay healthier, and even live longer. But if you don’t use your medicine the right way, it may not work very well. It could even make you feel worse or have harmful effects. These tips can help you stay on track.

  • Read the label carefully before starting a new prescription. If any directions are unclear, talk with your pharmacist.
  • Use exactly the amount specified on the label. Don’t take too much, which can be dangerous. And don’t skip doses or take less than the full amount.
  • Know when and how often to take the medicine. For example, if the label says four doses daily, can you take them all before bedtime or do you need to wake up for a dose at night?
  • Avoid alcohol while taking medication. The combination may cause tiredness, slow reactions, loss of coordination, irritability, or memory problems.
  • Ask if there are any foods you should avoid. For example, you may need to limit grapefruit and grapefruit juice if you are taking a statin drug to lower your cholesterol.

Using your medicine correctly offers the best opportunity to take care of your health.