Medication guidelines

The following are basic guidelines for taking prescription and nonprescription medicines:

  • Use medicines only if nondrug approaches are not working.
  • Know the benefits and side effects of a medicine before taking it.
  • Take the minimum effective dose.
  • Never take a drug prescribed for someone else.
  • Follow the prescription instructions exactly or let your doctor know why you didn't.
  • Keep medicines tightly capped in their original containers, and store them as directed.
  • Don't take medicines in front of small children. Children are great mimics. Don't oversell the "candy" taste of children's medicines or leave children's vitamins within their reach.
  • Ask your doctor what medicines may not be safe to give your child.
  • Add a consumer's guide to medicines to your home health library.

Last Updated: May 1, 2008

Author: Caroline Rea, RN, BS, MS

Medical Review: Patrice Burgess, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine

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