Know Your Medications

Assortment of pills and supplementsYou play an important role in helping reduce medication errors. Be sure you understand exactly what you are taking and why. Use this checklist to help you get the information you need from your physician:

  • What is the name of the medicine? What is its generic name?
  • Why am I taking this medicine?
  • What dose will I be taking? How often, and for how long?
  • When will the medicine begin to work?
  • What are the possible side effects?
  • Can I take this medicine while taking my other medications or dietary supplements?
  • Are there any foods, drinks or activities I should avoid while taking this medicine?
  • Should I take my medicine at meals or between meals?
  • Do I need to take the medicine on an empty stomach or with food or a whole glass of water?
  • What should I do if I forget to take the medicine and miss a dose?

Preventing Medication Errors
Be sure all your physicians know what medications you have been taking, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, herbal and vitamin supplements, natural remedies and recreational drugs.

Be sure all your physicians know of any allergies you may have—to medications, anesthesia, foods, latex products, etc.

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