Taking medications as prescribed is the best way to guarantee you will get the most out of them. Here are some tips to help you take them correctly and safely:

  • Read the medication label. This is on the bottle. Pay attention to the following:
    • Follow the directions exactly as prescribed. This is to ensure that you’re receiving the most benefit from the medication.
      • It is important to take all doses daily and never miss a dose.
    • Discard after expiration date. There is no guarantee your medications will be safe and effective after this date. To safely dispose of expired medications near you, search these controlled substance public disposal locations.
    • Auxiliary labels. These emphasize information specific to your medications. Examples include:
      • Take with food—Some medications may cause an upset stomach and should be taken with food to prevent this side effect.
      • Take on empty stomach—The effectiveness of some medications can be impacted if taken with food.
      • Don’t take with antacids—This refers to Milk of Magnesia®, Mylanta®, Maalox®, Tums®, Alka-Seltzer®, Rolaids®, etc. Antacids neutralize the acid in the stomach, which prevents certain medications from working.
      • Avoid prolonged or excessive sunlight exposure—These medications have properties that can cause sunburn or rashes. Cover up when going outside.
  • Don’t throw away the medication guide: These handouts may come with your medications. The guide contains important information about the medication’s use, side effects, storage, etc.

One of the first steps in managing your health is to make sure you’re taking all medication(s) as prescribed by your provider.

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