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Risk Reduction - Play it Safe

Here are some simple things you can do to reduce risk, improve medication safety and avoid problems

Most common drug side effects:

Less-Common drug reactions:

  • 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

  • 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


Reviewed/Updated Date: 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