10 Common Mistakes to AVOID when taking Your Medications


1. Not understanding what you are taking

  • Know the names, reason for use, and possible side effects.
  • Ask your pharmacist or doctor if you do not understand the instructions.
  • Improve the effective use of medicines by patients, and
  • Contact your pharmacist or doctor if you are having a side effect.

2. Taking your medication just when you think of it

  • Take your medicines exactly as directed by your doctor or pharmacist

3. Stop taking your medicine when you think you feel better

  • Continue taking all of your medicines until the doctor says to stop

4. Relying on just your memory to recall what you need to take

  • Keep an updated written list of all of your prescription medicines, sample medicines, over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, vitamins, and dietary/herbal supplements. Ask your pharmacist if they can put a list together for you.

5. Thinking that expired medicines are still OK to use

  • Do not use old or expired medicines. Return them to your pharmacy for safe disposal.

6. Thinking that medicines can be stored anywhere that is convenient.

  • Store medicines in a cool and dry place
  • Do not store medicines in the heat (e.g., near the stove), in direct sunlight (on a windowsill) or in a wet or damp place (bathroom).

7. Storing your medicines in multiple locations

  • Keep all of your medicines in one place unless they need to be stored in the fridge.
  • Keep out of reach of children.

8. Shop at many different pharmacies for your medications.

  • Use only one pharmacy for all of your prescription medicines.
  • The idea is to get to know your pharmacist so they will get to know you and can keep track of all the medications you take.

9. Thinking that Non-Prescription Medicines are safe for anyone to take.

  • Ask your pharmacist or doctor before taking any over-the-counter (OTC) medicines

10. Thinking that you do not need to be bored with all the details

  • Be a little pro-active and be responsible for your health
  • Read all of your medicine labels and written instructions before taking each medicine