Safety & Dosing: How to Read Medicine Labels

Reading the fine print on medicine labels can be daunting, especially when you or someone you love is in pain. Here’s a guide to help you make sense of it all. Be sure to compare labels if you’re taking more than one over-the-counter medication at a time. Taking multiple medicines with the same active ingredient can be harmful.

Medicine Bottle
Medicine Bottle
1. Medicinal Ingredient

The parts of the medicine that make it work.

2. Uses

Describes the symptoms that the medicine relieves.

3. Directions

Indicates the amount or dose of medicine to take, how often to take it, and how much you can take in one day.

4. Non-Medicinal Ingredients

Ingredients not intended to relieve your symptoms (e.g., preservatives, flavourings).

5. Cautions and/or Warnings

Safety information including side effects, the questions you should ask a doctor before taking the medicine, and which medicines to avoid using at the same time.

6. Other Information

How to store the medicine.
The expiration date: It is important to not use medicines which are beyond their expiry date.

7. Questions or Comments

Call the company if you have questions about a specific medicine.

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