My Medicines Infographic
Before you take any medicine, read the label. It should show:
- The list of ingredients. If you know you are allergic to anything in the medicine, don’t use it. Ask for a different medicine.
- Warnings. Read these carefully, and take note.
- The expiration date. Do not use a medicine after the date on the bottle. It may not work as well.
Make a list of the medicine you take, including vitamins, and keep it with you. Things to write down:
- What is the medicine’s name?
- How much should I take?
- How long should I take it?
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about your medicines. Good questions to ask are:
- If I forget to take it, what should I do?
- Should I take this on an empty stomach or with food?
- What problems should I watch for?
Medicines can cause problems or side effects, such as sleepiness, headaches, or rashes. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about possible side effects. To avoid problems:
- Organize your medicines.
- Don’t skip taking your medicines.
- Don’t share medicines.
- Eighty-two percent of U.S. adults take at least one prescription drug per week.
- Twenty-nine percent of U.S. adults take five or more prescription drugs per week.
- U.S. spending on prescription drugs reached $234.1 billion in 2008.
- Cardiovascular, with 286.5 million prescriptions.
- Pain, with 131.2 million prescriptions.
- Antibiotics, with 104.9 million prescriptions.
- Thyroid, with 70.5 million prescriptions.
- Antacids, with 53.4 million prescriptions.
- Diabetes, with 48.3 million prescriptions.
- For children ages 0-11 years, the most commonly used prescription drugs treat infections (3.7%), asthma or allergies (3.9%), and asthma (5.7%).
- For adolescents ages 12-19 years, the most commonly used prescription drugs treat depression (4.8%), asthma (5.4%), and attention deficit disorder (6.1%).
- For adults ages 20-59 years, the most commonly used prescription drugs treat high cholesterol (8.4%), pain (10.1%), and depression (10.8%).
- For adults ages 60 and older, the most commonly used prescription drugs treat high blood pressure (19.9%), heart disease (26.4%) and high cholesterol (44.9%).
- Of those who have borrowed a prescription drug, 49 percent said it was because they had the same problem.
- Seventy-two percent said they had a prescription but ran out or didn’t have it.