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Medication Safety

Know your medications and keep a list. When making this list, include the name, dosage, and how often you take the medication. Click here for a Medication Chart that will help you keep track of your medications.

For example:
Name Generic Name Dose How Often
Capoten Captroprill 25 mg 3x a day
Your list should include:
  • Prescriptions from your doctor(s)
  • Over the counter medications
  • Dietary supplements
  • Vitamins
  • Herbal Medications
Know the following about your medications:
  • What are they for and how long will you need to take them?
  • What are the most common/most serious side effects & what to do if they occur?
  • What interactions might occur with other medications & supplements?
  • Whether diet or activity will effect these medications
  • When you are discharged make sure that you receive written information about any medication(s) from your hospital or drug store pharmacist.
Are you allergic to any medications?
  • Know your allergies and/or any sensitivities/reactions to medications, and keep track of them on your medication list.
  • Include the name of the medication and the type of problem you have had.
If you have a history of sensitivity/reaction to Medication:

List the medication, the type of problem the medication causes, and the date of the problem.

Name Problem Date
Pencillin Hives 1960's

It is very important that you share this list with health care providers anytime you receive health care, including visits to the pharmacy.

When you are a patient in the hospital:
  • Whenever you are prescribed drugs in the hospital, make sure that you know what the drug is and why it is given. If you are not sure, ask the nurse.
  • Ask if there are serious potential side effects or interactions with other medications that you are taking.
  • Ask for written information about the drug. If this is a drug you feel you should not receive, ask for a clear explanation.
  • Ask to discuss this with your doctor or the hospital pharmacist if you do not feel the initial explanation is adequate.
  • When you are discharged, make sure you understand about your medications. Be sure to update your medication list. Your nurse or pharmacist will help you with this.
When you pick up a prescription at the Pharmacy:
  • At the pharmacy ask: Is this the medication my doctor prescribed?
  • Be sure to bring your medication list to the pharmacy and review it with your pharmacist.
  • Check to see if refilled drugs look like the prior medication before you leave the pharmacy. Also confirm the dose on the bottle against your own medication list.
  • If a refilled drug does not look like the medication you received before, ask the pharmacist for an explanation.


Discuss with your pharmacist how to properly store your medications.
Insist on explanations that you can understand.
Make sure that you understand and accept the risks associated with your medications.