Following are some tips to help you use prescription drugs safely and effectively:

  • If a drug is not doing what it is supposed to do for you, tell your doctor. You may need a different dosage or another drug.
  • If you have unexpected side effects, inform your doctor promptly.
  • Don't quit taking a drug just because you feel better. You may prevent the drug from doing its job completely.
  • Check the label or ask the pharmacist for storing instructions. Some drugs should be refrigerated while others must be protected from light or kept in a cool, dry place.
  • Always keep medicine out of the reach of children. Some can open the childproof lids.
  • Never share your medication with someone else. Your symptoms may appear the same but you may have entirely different diagnoses.
  • Never take medicine without checking the label to make sure you're taking the right one. Don't take or dispense medicine at night without turning on the light and checking the label.
  • Don't transfer medicines from the original container. These containers are designed to protect the drugs. Fancy pill boxes are not always suitable.
  • Do not keep prescription drugs that are no longer needed. Destroy drugs by flushing them down the toilet. Dispose of containers carefully so that children or pets cannot get to them.
  • Keep a list of all drugs you are taking to show to your doctor, dentist and pharmacist.
  • If you are taking several different drugs and have trouble remembering when and how to take them, prepare a handy checklist.