Helpful Hints

Important medication hints


It is very important for you to know about your medications and take them correctly to get the best health outcomes possible. Follow the guidelines below to get the most benefit from your medications.

  • Talk to your doctor before you start taking any medication to make sure you understand the following and that you are not at risk for a negative drug interaction:
    • Why you need the medication
    • How and when to take the medication (with or without food, time of day etc.)
    • What should I do if I miss a dose of medication
    • How to store the medication
    • What side effects and/or negative interactions to watch for
    • Make sure you let the doctor know what you are allergic to and that the new  medication does not contain any of these ingredients
    • Make sure your doctor knows all of the other prescription and over the counter drugs as well as any vitamins or supplements you are taking – keep a current list and share it with your doctor and/or pharmacist
    • Be sure to tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breast feeding as some medications can hurt your baby
  • Always follow these rules when taking a medication:
    • Only take the medication as directed for the illness it is prescribed for and the length of time prescribed
    • Do not stop taking the medication when you feel better unless the doctor tells you to – otherwise finish the whole prescription
    • Do not save unused prescriptions to take the next time you are feeling bad – this is especially important with antibiotics
    • Do not take someone else’s medications and do not share your medications
    • Do not change the dose of medication you are taking unless the doctor tells you to
  • Make sure you know what the prescribed medication looks like – if you are unsure it is the right medication ask your pharmacist to verify
  • Make sure you know if it is safe to drink, eat certain foods, or drive when taking a new medication
  • Make sure all of your doctors and pharmacists know all of the medications you are taking to avoid any negative interactions
  • Ask your pharmacist before you start taking any new over the counter medications to make sure they will not interact negatively with your current prescription medications
  • Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor or pharmacist questions if you have any medication concerns

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