Why Should I Read Medicine Labels?
Consumers have become very savvy about reading food labels,
especially when it comes to calories. Surprisingly, however, most consumers
are not taking the time to read the labels or package inserts for their prescription
or over-the-counter medicines. Why is this important? Medicine labels include
important information that is mandated-and reviewed-by the FDA.
Medicine product labels include information about active
ingredients as well as inactive ingredients. This helps you identify anything
you might be allergic to, or whether the medicine contains ingredients that
are also in other medicines you are taking at the same time for different purposes.
The "Uses" section tells you what the drug is for and can help you find the
best product for your symptoms. The "Warnings" section is particularly important:
here's where you can find out who should NOT take this product, when to stop
taking the drug, medical conditions that may make the drug less effective or
unsafe, and when to talk to a doctor or pharmacist before use.
The "Directions" section of the label tells you precisely
how to take the medicine and how much, as well as how long you may safely take
that medication. This section may also tell you how the medicine should be stored
or other specific instructions. Most importantly, the "Questions?" section
of the label provides a telephone number to call if you have any product related
For related information, click here.
Created: 3/7/2001  - Donnica Moore, M.D.