Source: Office of Women’s Health and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores
Use Medicines Wisely
About 30% to 50% of those who use medicines do not use them as directed. This causes more doctor visits, hospital stays, lost wages and changed prescriptions. All this costs Americans as much as $76.6 billion each year.
Women often take care of medicines for the whole family, as well as themselves. So we need to read the label, avoid problems, ask questions and keep a record.
1. Read The Label
Before you take any medicine, read the label. The label should show: List of ingredients–If you know you are allergic to anything in the medicine, don’t use is. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a different medicine. Warnings –Read these carefully. The expiration date–Do not use a medicine after the date on the bottle. It may not work as well.
For more information on your medicines, ask your pharmacist.
2. Avoid Problems
Medicines can cause problems, or side effects; such as sleepiness, vomiting, bleeding, headaches or rashes. Ask about the side effects of the medicines you are taking. Talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse. Organize your medicines. Do not skip taking your medicines. Do not share medicines. Do not take medicine in the dark.
3. Ask Questions What is the medicine’s name? Is there a generic available? Why am I taking this medicine? Should I take this on an empty stomach or with food? Is it safe to drink alcohol with it? If I forget to take it, what should I do? How much should I take? How long am I to take it? What problems should I watch for? If you are pregnant or nursing a baby, seek the advice of a health professional before taking any medication or diet supplement. Talk with your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. She/he will be happy to help you. List any allergies: Doctor: Phone number:
4. Keep A Record Of Medicines You Use
Check boxes for the ones you use: Aspirin or other pain/headache/fever medicine Allergy medicine Antacids Cold medicine Cough medicine Diet pills/supplements Laxatives Sleeping pills Vitamins Minerals Herbals Other
List Your Prescription Medicines
Date Name of My
Medicine How Much
Do I Take When
Do I Take It What Do
I Use It for Refills Example 1 tablet
400 mg 3 times a day
after meals Arthritis 2
Keep This In Your Purse And Show It To Your Doctors, Pharmacist, Or Nurse.
Have your doctor, pharmacist or nurse report serious problems to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
This document was developed by FDA’s Office of Women’s Health (OWH) and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS). The OWH and NACDS thank all of the participating organizations that have assisted in its reproduction and distribution.
Women’s Health: Take Time To Care
For yourself … for those who need you