A pharmacist explains the information on a prescription bottle to a man.

Medication safety through the aging process

As you get older, you may face more health conditions and take more medications. As your body ages, it changes physically, which can affect how medications work.1 Here are some tips to help you prevent any potential issues with your medications:

  • Make a list of all the medications you take.2
    • You should include the name, how many doses to take and how frequently, what the medication is prescribed for and who prescribed it. This information should be updated at least once every year.
    • Your pharmacist also can provide a printout of your medications.
  • Take your medications as directed.1
    • If you sometimes forget doses or take multiple medications throughout the day, consider using a medication organizer or alarms.
    • Some medications work best if taken at specific times or with/without food.
    • Remember to check the label or talk with your pharmacist.
  • Understand the fall risk with some medications.1
    • Some medications (e.g., pain, depression, anxiety, muscle relaxers) can increase your chance of falling.
  • Use caution with over-the-counter medications.1
    • Always read the labels carefully and follow all the directions to avoid unwanted or dangerous side effects.
  • Talk to your pharmacist.1
    • If you can’t swallow large pills, ask if it can be split or is available in a liquid form.
    • If you have difficulty opening bottles, ask to be switched to an easy-to-open container.
    • Ask for larger print on labels to ensure you can read and understand how to take medications correctly.
  • Discard expired medications.2


  1. “Medication Safety for Older Adults,” Drugs.com, last accessed March 16, 2023, https://www.drugs.com/cg/medication-safety-for-older-adults.html.
  2. “4 Medication Safety Tips for Older Adults,” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, last accessed March 16, 2023, https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/4-medication-safety-tips-older-adults.

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