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Home > Managing Your Medications

Managing Your Medications

Medicines can help you get better and keep you feeling well, but can be hard to manage and, if misused, potentially dangerous. Making sure you take your prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicine, as well as vitamins, supplements, and alternative therapies properly is important for the health of your liver and for your overall health.

Managing Your Medications Brochure

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Managing Your Medications Brochure Spanish

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A Spanish language version of the brochure "Managing Your Medications"

Medication Tracking Card

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Why is Managing your Medications important to liver health?

Every medicine, vitamin, supplement that you take passes through the liver, including all the medicines you take:

  • Over-the-counter medicines
  • Prescription medicines
  • Vitamins
  • Dietary supplements
  • Alternative medicines

Your liver is responsible for processing all of these substances. It is important to understand exactly how you should be taking your medications in order to avoid putting undue stress on your liver.

Who is at risk for medication-related problems?

More people than ever before are taking medications to control chronic (long-lasting) medical conditions. The number of prescription and over-the-counter drugs continues to grow, and the number of conditions that can be treated with drugs is on the rise, too. Unfortunately, the potential for drug-related problems is also increasing. Drug-related problems include: adverse side effects, duplication (taking two or more drugs with the same effects), and interactions with other medications.

Prescription and OTC medications, supplements, vitamins, and alternative therapies all have potential interactions. It is important to Manage Your Medications to prevent these negative drug interactions.

People who take a number of different medications, often for multiple conditions, are at risk for possible dangerous drug interactions and overdose. Older adults and children are also at risk because their bodies process medication differently. Both can be more sensitive to dosage amounts and side effects of medications than young and middle-aged adults. Before administering medications to children or older adults, ask your doctor for specific instructions.

What can I do to ensure that I take my medications safely and properly?

Always remember to:

  • FOLLOW dosing instructions
  • READ the label
  • TALK with your doctor or pharmacist
  • KNOW your medicines
  • USE responsibly!

Page updated: October 4th, 2011