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Over-the-Counter Medicine Precautions

Overview

Before using over-the-counter medicines, be sure you know the benefits and side effects of a medicine. Use medicines only if non-medicine approaches are not working.

These steps can help you stay safe when taking over-the-counter medicine.

  • Carefully read and follow all directions on the medicine bottle and box. Or let your doctor know why you think you should take the medicine in a different way.
  • Take the minimum effective dose. When using a liquid medicine, use the measuring device that comes with the medicine.
  • Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine. If you have been told to avoid a medicine, call your doctor before you take it.
  • Do not take a medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to it in the past.
  • If you are or could be pregnant, call your doctor before taking any medicine.
  • Keep a list of all your medicines, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and supplements. And share the list with your doctors.

Credits

Current as of: September 20, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine

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