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Medicine safety resources

​​Use the following resources to help you take your medicines safely.

Preparing for your doctor’s visit

Questions to ask about your medicines: It's important to know as much as possible about the medicines you're taking. Here are some examples of questions you might ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Decisions about medicines: Decision points are designed to guide you through important health decisions. They combine medical information with your personal values to help you make a wise health decision.

Prevent medical errors with medicine: How to use medicines can be confusing, especially if you are using a lot of medicines. You need to keep track of when and how to take them, and prescriptions and labels are not always easy to understand.

Make the most of your doctor visit (video): Even though you can’t change how much time you have with your doctor, you can do things to make the most of your visit.

Why are blood tests needed with some medicines? (video): To make sure your medicine is working safely for you, you may need to get blood tests at regular times.

Taking your medicines safely

Quick tips: Taking medicines wisely: Medicines can help you manage your health, but only if you take them correctly. Learn tips that might help.

What is on a prescription label? There is important information on a prescription label. Knowing what the information means can help you know which medicine you are taking and how to take it properly.

Taking medicines as prescribed: Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems.

Dealing with medicine side effects and interactions: Medicines work in a delicate balance with your body and with each other. Sometimes the balance tips and this can cause side effects or medicine interactions.

Preventing falls: Medicine safety (video): As you get older your body can become more sensitive to medicine. This can cause side effects like feeling dizzy or drowsy, which can put you at risk of falling.

Also be sure to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about any non-prescription medicines and products you take (over-the-counter, or OTC, medicines). They are any medicines that you can buy without a prescription. These medicines can interact with others and may cause serious health problems. Your doctor or pharmacist can answer your questions and help you choose an OTC medicine that’s right for you.

Tracking and managing your medicines

Keeping track of medicines: IIt can be hard to keep track of when and how to take medicines. Here are some ideas you can use to stay organized and track your medicines.

Managing your medicines (video): When you have a health condition, understanding all the medicines you take is an important part of your treatment plan.

Monitoring your medicines: Your doctor may want you to have tests to be sure the medicine isn't harming you and you're getting the right dose.

Monitoring your medicines in the hospital: Medicine errors can happen in the hospital. As an active patient, you can keep careful track of the medicines you're getting and help prevent mistakes.

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Current as of: February 18, 2021

Author: Medication Quality and Safety Team - Pharmacy Services, Alberta Health Services