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Medicare Medicine Safety Form

Taking Your Medicines Correctly 


  • Make a list of medications you are taking now. Include the dose and how often you take each. Also, list any over-the-counter medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements or herbal products that you take regularly. List any allergies to medications, foods, or IV contrast (used in radiology). 
  • Any time that your medications change, change your list, too. Double check the imprints on the tablets and capsules. 
  • Keep medications in their original containers. Many pills look alike, so by keeping them in their original containers, you will know which is which and how to take them.
  • Never take someone else’s medication. You don’t know if it will interact with your medication, the dose may be wrong for you, or you may be allergic to it. 
  • Read the label every time you take a dose to make sure you have the right drug and that you are following the instructions. 
  • Turn on the lights to take you medications. If you can’t see what you’re taking, you may take the wrong thing. 
  • Don’t store medications in the bathroom medicine cabinet or in direct sunlight. Humidity, heat and light can affect medications’ potency and safety. 
  • Store medications where children can’t see or reach them, for example, in a locked box or cabinet. 
  • Keep medications for people separate from pets’ medications or household chemicals. Mix-ups are common and can be dangerous. 
  • Don’t keep tubes of ointments or creams next to your tube of toothpaste. They feel a lot alike when you grab quickly, but a mistake could be serious. 
  • Don’t chew, crush or break any capsules or tablets unless instructed. Some long-acting medications are absorbed too quickly when chewed, which could be unsafe. Other medications either won’t be effective or could make you sick.
  • To give liquid medication, use on the cup or other measuring device that came with it. Dosing errors can happen if you use a different cup that is a different size or has different markings. Also, household teaspoons and tablespoons are not very accurate, which is important with some medications. Your pharmacist may give you a special oral syringe instead.
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