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Prevent Errors With Medicines

How to use medicines can be confusing, especially if you are using a lot of medicines. You need to keep track of when and how to take them, and prescriptions and labels are not always easy to understand. So it's easy for an error with medicine to happen.

What to tell your doctor

  • Tell your doctor and other health professionals about all the medicines you are taking. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines as well as supplements such as vitamins and herbs. You can give your doctor a master list of medicines(What is a PDF document?). Or you can put all your medicines, supplements, and vitamins in a bag and take them with you when you see your doctor.
  • Tell your doctor about any drug allergies or other reactions to medicine you have. If you have an adverse reaction to some medicines, your doctor can help you find another one or change the dose. This can help you avoid getting a medicine that might harm you.
  • Stay in touch with your doctor if you are taking pain medicine. Your doctor needs to know how well your pain medicine is working. If your pain medicine is not working, don't take it more often or in a larger dose. Talk to your doctor first.
  • Tell your doctor about side effects that are severe or unexpected. Don't just try to live with the side effects. Your doctor may be able to change the medicine or change how much you take to help with side effects.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: December 18, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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