Taking Medications Wisely


1. Educate yourself about the medications you are taking. Know the brand
and generic names of your medications. Know what it does and how it does
it. Learn how to take it properly, what dose it is and potential side
effects. In addition, find out about any potential drug or food
interactions.�
2. Ask your doctor if generic is okay for you.
3. If your prescription does not look right, don’t take it! Make sure it
is correct.�
4. Keep your medications in the original bottle. The original bottle has
the correct label and instructions.�
5. Do not substitute over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription drugs for
another.�
6. Do not alter the form of a medicine without consulting your health
care provider. Crushing or breaking a pill may impact its effectiveness.

Remember to take them! They can’t work if you don’t take them.�

1. Develop a daily routine for taking your medications. Do them with a
specific daily activity. Take after you brush your teeth or after meal,
whatever helps you to remember to take them.�
2. Use a multiday pill box if that helps you to remember, but keep
medications in their original containers as long as possible before
transferring to pill box.

Refilling Your Prescriptions

1. When you first receive your medication, make sure the number of
refills on the label matches the number on the original prescription.
Ask the pharmacist at the time if you notice a problem. Plan to get a
new prescription when you are on your last refill – or sooner.�
2. Contact your pharmacy well in advance of the time you need your
medication. The pharmacist may need time to telephone the physician,
check the medication supply, order the medication, then package and
label the medication.�
3. Most prescriptions, including refills, are only good for 12 months.
At that time, a new prescription is necessary and any unused refills
cannot be filled.�

Storing Your Medications�

1. Temperature changes and humidity can cause medication to become
ineffective or dangerous.�
2. Humidity can cause a tablet to become moist and powdery. Do not store
medications in places with high humidity, like gym lockers, bathrooms
and above the stove.�
3. Do not store medications in the glove compartment of your car, it is
too hot.

Traveling With Medications�

1. When you travel, make sure you have more than adequate supply of
medications.�
2. Put your medications in your carry-on luggage.�
3. Make sure your meds are in their original prescription containers,
especially if are traveling internationally.�