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Medication Safety

Did you know?

  • Over 2 million poisoning incidents are reported in the US each year.
  • These incidents cause 700,000 hospital/emergency room visits and 35,000 deaths.
  • Children under 6 account for 50% of poison exposures, however 92% of poisoning deaths occur in people over 20.

Accidental poisoning? Call 9-1-1 immediately!

To prevent medication-related poisoning, carefully read labels on prescription (Rx) and over-the-counter (OTC) medication, and make sure that you know:

  • What the medicine is for (indications),
  • How to take the medicine (directions),
  • What is in the medicine (contents, or active and inactive ingredients),
  • What the unusual effects are (warnings), and
  • What activities you should not do while taking the drug (precautions).

Never take medicine in the dark. Turn on a light and make sure you take the right medicine and right dose described on the label. If you need glasses to read, wear them when taking medicine.

Never take other people's prescription drugs. Take only drugs that are prescribed for you.

Exercise extra care to practice medication safety with children:

  • Keep all medicines (and household cleaning products) locked up and out of reach.
  • Give infants and children only medicines that are safe for their age and weight. The label will tell you what the correct dose is.
  • Choose products in containers that are hard for children to open. Replace caps tightly after use. Remember that no container can promise to keep children out.
  • Call medicine by its proper name. Never call medicine candy.