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Kids, Teens, and Senior Adults


Tips for taking Medicine

Medicine bottle

Did your doctor prescribe a medicine for you to take? Were you told to use an over-the-counter drug? Here are some tips when it comes to using medicine, both prescribed and over-the-counter (6):

-Learn the facts

What does the medicine do? What is it used for?

Sometimes certain medicines should not be mixed with other drugs. Although each medicine might help you, they might hurt you if taken together (also known as a "drug interaction"). Can your medicine be taken along with other medicines?

Some medicines also react with food ("food-drug interaction"), and can even cause the medicine to be ineffective. Should your medicine be taken during or between meals?

-Follow directions

How often do you need to take the medicine?

How much do you take at a certain time? In other words, how large is the dosage? One pill? One teaspoon?

Do you need to change your activities while taking the medicine? For example, some drugs make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, making it easier to get burnt. With these drugs, it is best to avoid extended periods of sun exposure.

-Keep track and Report back

You and the doctor are both concerned about how well the medicine works. It is a good idea to write down:

If and when you begin to feel better or worse.

If you experience and side effects. A side effect is something that happens to your body as a result of taking the drug, separate from the illness. For example, some drugs might help you become healthy, but may also make you feel tired or nauseous (upset stomach).

If you begin to feel drastically worse, contact your doctor.


For more information, visit these sites:

How to Get the Most From Your Medicine, Cómo sacar el máximo provecho de su medicamento

Over-the-Counter Drugs, Medicamentos de venta sin receta

Over-the-Counter Drug Safety, Cómo disminuir el riesgo de medicamentos de venta sin receta


Still Have Questions?

Although your doctor may be very busy and not be able to meet with you for very long, you have other resources available.

Ask a nurse. Ask a pharmacist. Ask a physician's assistant.

Consult trusted and reputable written sources, including books and websites. (Caution: these may be good places to start looking for information, but do not make any major health decisions based solely on this information. Although good information is available online, some sites are not trustworthy and should be avoided. In general, ".gov" and ".edu" sites are better than ".com" sites.)



6.How To Get the Most From Your Medicine (2008). American Academy of Family Physicians via MDConsult. Retrieved from:

Medicine Bottle:


Accessibility | Privacy | ASU Disclaimer This site was created by Nik Wright in fulfillment of requirements for the course TCL 323 : Latino Health Issues taught by Dr. Szkupinski Quiroga at Arizona State University, Fall 2009.