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Do's and don'ts

  • Tip

    Don't let your medicines run out. Call your pharmacy at least 1 week before you need a refill.

    What to do

    • Take your medicine about the same time each day.
    • Have all of your medicines filled at one pharmacy.
    • Use a pill box or guide to manage your medicines.
    • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. If you do not remember to take it until it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your regular dose schedule.
      Do not double up on missed doses unless your health care provider tells you to do so.
    • Keep all medicines (prescription, over-the-counter, herbals and vitamins) out of reach of children and pets.
    • Keep all medicines away from heat, light and humidity. Do not keep medicines in the bathroom or near the kitchen sink.
    • Plan ahead for vacations. Don't be caught without enough of your medicines when you are away from home.
    • Allow extra time for refills if you use a mail order pharmacy.
    • Check with your airline for details about bringing medicines on board.
    • If you are seeing more than one doctor, be sure to tell each one which medicines you are taking. (Fill out a medicine chart to help keep track.)

    What not to do

    • Don't let your medicines run out. Call your pharmacy at least 1 week before you need a refill.
    • Don't take medicines prescribed for someone else.
    • Don't take any more than the prescribed dose of any medicine.
    • Don't keep outdated medicine you do not need.
    • Don't stop taking your medicines unless you have talked with your health care provider.
    • Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice.

    Tip

    If you are seeing more than one doctor, be sure to tell each one which medicines you are taking.

    When you take many medicines, they may interact with each other. This means one medicine may affect how well another one works.

    Bring your medicines to your clinic visits

    Put your medicine bottles and boxes into a bag and bring it with you to your appointments. Include all:

    • prescription medicines
    • over-the-counter medicines
    • herbals
    • natural products

    Medicines can work against each other so your health care provider needs to know what you are taking.