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Safer Medication Use

For many people, taking medication is a regular part of their daily routine.  And although medicines can make you feel better and help you get well, it's important to know that all medicines, both prescription and over-the-counter, have risks as well as benefits.

Tips for Safer Medication Use:

  • Take medication as prescribed or as directed on the package and avoiding sharing with others.
  • Inform your Healthcare Provider and Pharmacist of all the medications you are taking (prescription, over the counter, vitamins and herbal remedies)
  • Keep a list of all medications in your wallet.
  • Learn the side effects of all your medications and tell your MD and Pharmacist about any that you are experiencing.
  • Go to only ONE pharmacy.
  • Return medication that you are not using to any drug store for disposal.
  • Try alternatives to sleeping medications.
  • Request a medication review at least yearly, can any be reduced or discontinued?
  • Drug combinations could increase risk of falls and other injuries by causing confusion, drowsiness and poor coordination.
  • Check with your Healthcare Provider or Pharmacist before using any over-the-counter and herbal medications.
  • Request large print on labels or blister pack dispensing for your medication if needed. 
  • Keep your medications safely out of the reach of others and locked if you are concerned others will access them.

Alcohol should be avoided when taking some types of medications (i.e. sedative drugs, opioids, some types of antidepressants and antibiotics). Drinking alcohol while taking these medications may make you sick, make your condition worse or increase your risk of overdose. Talk to you Medical Practitioner or Pharmacist about alcohol use when starting a new drug.

For more information visit

Medication is the leading cause of poisoning in children.

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