Here are some simple things you can do to reduce risk, improve medication safety and avoid problems
Know the medications you take
Make a list of all your medications
Keep a copy of your medication list with you at all times. This can be very helpful in an emergency.
Check the expiration dates on all labels.
Don't mix your medications in a single bottle.
Store medication in a cool and dry place.
Be aware that information about your medications may change, so keep informed and ask questions
Limit the number of different providers you see. Be sure all of your providers know your complete medication list. And when possible, fill your prescriptions at the same pharmacy
Tell your healthcare team about
Any medication you have stopped taking or any new medication you have started. Do this at every clinic visit.
Any allergy or adverse effect from a medication
Skin rashes or hives
Bruising or bleeding easily
Nausea and vomiting,
Sleeplessness, tremors, or nervousness
Fatigue or listlessness
Depression, memory loss
Tics and seizures
Heart palpitations, arrhythmias, cardiac arrest
Ask for information about your medication when it is ordered. If you do not understand something, ask your provider or pharmacist to explain.
Always talk to your provider or pharmacist before taking herbals or supplements.
Dispose of medications safely
Speak Up! Ask questions!
Think It Through: A Guide to Managing the Benefits and Risks of Medicines (Center for Drug Evaluation and Research)
Updated May 2011
Clinical Advisory Board Sponsor: Rose Mary Pries, PhD
Clinical Subject Matter Experts: Maureen Layden, MD, MPH; Eric Spahn, PharmD
Patient Education Subject Matter Experts: Kathy Horvath, PhD