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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 it. 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, and in some cases, can be harmful to you.

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
  •  Cough medicine
  •  Diet pills/supplements
  •  Laxatives
  •  Sleeping pills
  •  Vitamins
  •  Minerals
  •  Herbals
  •  Other

NAME: __________________________________________________________

DOCTOR: ________________________________________________________

PHONE NUMBER: __________________________________________________

ALLERGIES:

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.


The "My Medicines" brochure is available in PDF format, or you can print out these web pages so that you can carry the medicine tracking chart with you at all times. Or, during the month of October, you can pick up a brochure at a participating pharmacy in your community.

"My Medicines" is also in available in Spanish and other languages.


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

Of Special Interest:   100 Calorie Snacks   Michigan Steps Up   Go Red For Women
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