Health Library

The Health Library is a collection of health and wellness resources created for learning and accessibility. Select a topic below for related health information or search for a topic in the search bar for more information on other medical conditions.

Medication Use and Safety

  • If you have narrow drainage angles or you have long-term (chronic) closed-angle glaucoma, you may need to avoid medicines that widen (dilate) the pupil, the dark spot in the center of the eye. Having wide pupils when you have these other problems may cause acute closed-angle glaucoma. This is a dangerous condition that...

  • Learn which medicines could make your heart failure worse.

  • Long-acting opioid pain relievers are medicines used to relieve moderate to severe long-term pain. They are also called extended-release opioids. Opioids relieve pain by changing the way your body feels pain. They don't cure a health problem, but they help you manage the pain. If you take a lot of short-acting...

  • Giving medicine to a child can be tricky. Some liquid medicines taste or smell bad. Or they may have a strange texture. And when a child doesn't feel well, he or she can act grumpy or more stubborn than usual. But you can take steps to avoid power...

  • Protect yourself and others by knowing how to safely store and get rid of medicines.

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are drugs you can buy without a doctor's prescription. This doesn't mean that OTC medicines are harmless. Like prescription medicines, OTCs can be very dangerous for children if not taken the right way. Be sure to read the package instructions on these medicines carefully. Talk to...

  • Medicines can help you manage your health, but only if you take them correctly. If you're having problems taking your medicine as prescribed, try thinking about why you're having trouble. You might not be sure why your medicine is important or if it is working. Maybe you just can't remember to take your medicine every...

  • Warfarin is a medicine that helps prevent blood clots. Coumadin is the common brand name for warfarin. Because it prevents clots, it also helps prevent heart attacks, strokes, and other problems caused by blood clots. It's important to know how to take warfarin safely.

  • Blood thinners are medicines that help prevent blood clots. Although they are called blood thinners, they don't really thin the blood. They slow down the time it takes for a blood clot to form. You have to be careful when you take blood thinner medicines. They can raise the risk of serious bleeding. But you can do...

  • Learn how some medicines can make you dizzy or drowsy and how you can stay safe.

  • Learn how to keep track of your medicines and what you need to know about them.

  • Learn how to tell when your child is using a rescue inhaler too often.

  • You might take prescription or over-the-counter medicines to help manage your health. But there may come a time when you no longer need to take these medicines or they have expired. An expired medicine is past its "use by" or "discard by" date....

  • Learn why taking your osteoporosis medicine is so important.

  • Learn how to make a plan that helps you use medicines safely.

  • Older adults and people with long-term diseases often need to take a lot of pills. That can cause problems. If you take more than one medicine that works the same way, you could get too high a dose. Sometimes medicines work against each other . So it's really important to ask every doctor you visit to look at...

  • Some over-the-counter (OTC) medicines can raise your blood pressure or keep your blood pressure medicine from working the way it should. So if you have high blood pressure or other heart or blood vessel problems, you need to be careful with OTC...

  • Here's information to help you work with your doctor so you can take prescribed opioids safely.

  • Guides you through the decision to have your child take medicine for ADHD. Lists benefits and risks of medicines. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Explains how to take medicine for congestive heart failure. Suggests schedules, lists, and pill containers to remember when to take medicines. Covers need-to-know names of medicines and side effects. Also how to handle missed doses, need to avoid certain medicines.

  • Know the benefits and side effects of a medicine before taking it. Use medicines only if nondrug approaches are not working. Follow these over-the-counter medicine precautions. Carefully read and follow all directions on the medicine bottle and box. Or let your doctor know why you think you should take the...

  • While working with your doctor to plan a medicine routine for yourself or your child, it may help you to talk about some of the choices and issues involved. Some of the following questions might help you prepare. Some medicines for epilepsy have to...

  • Talk to your doctor before you take any prescription or nonprescription medicine while breastfeeding. That's because some medicines can affect your breast milk. But many medicines are safe to use when you breastfeed. These include certain pain...

  • Antibiotics are medicines that kill bacteria. Bacteria can cause infections such as strep throat, ear infections, urinary tract infections, and sinus infections (sinusitis). There are many types of antibiotics. Each works a little differently and...

  • Ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is used to relieve pain and reduce fever and inflammation. Be sure to follow these medicine precautions: Your child's over-the-counter medicine will have a "Drug Facts" label. On the label, you'll find directions for...

  • Provides guidelines to reduce problems and get the most benefit from taking antidepressants. Covers what you need to know about antidepressants, side effects, and risks. Covers how to take medicine wisely.

  • Decision Points are designed to guide you through key health decisions, combining medical information with your personal information to make a wise health decision. Click on a link below to learn more about medicines for your condition: Acne: Should I Take Isotretinoin for Severe Acne? ADHD: Should My Child Take...

  • Many medicines may impair kidney function and cause kidney damage. And if your kidneys aren't working well, medicines can build up in your body. If you have chronic kidney disease, your doctor may advise you to continue to take a medicine but may change how much you take. Or you may change to a different medicine. Don't...

  • Some people have a hard time swallowing medicines. Large pills or capsules can get stuck in your throat, especially if your mouth is dry. Sometimes stuck pills can lead to heartburn and other problems. Try these tips to help make swallowing easier: Take a few sips of water to moisten your throat before you swallow the...

  • 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: What can you tell me about this medicine? How will I know that this medicine is working? How long will it take before I notice anything? Will I need any tests...

  • It can be hard to keep track of when and how to take medicines. And the more medicines you take, the harder it may be. Here are some ideas you can use to stay organized and track your medicines. Know your medicines The first step in keeping track of your medicines is to know what you're taking. Make a master list...

  • Medicine. Dose. How often I take it. How well it is working. Prescribing doctor. Current as of: May 27, 2020 Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family Medicine

  • Ask the following questions if your doctor recommends a new medicine for your health condition. General questions What is the name of the medicine? Brand name (trade name): Generic name (chemical name): What will the medicine do (for example, decrease blood pressure)? Why do I need this...

  • Covers importance of taking the right dose of the right high blood pressure medicines at the right time. Explains how medicines control high blood pressure. Includes working with your doctor to make a plan for taking your medicines.

  • If you have heart failure, you need to be extra careful with medicines. Some can make your heart failure worse. Other medicines may not mix well with your heart failure drugs. This Actionset will help you learn which medicines you may need to avoid and what questions to ask your doctor or pharmacist. Each time you...

  • 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. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health, and perhaps your life, at risk. Taking your medicines as your...

  • FDA advisories. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued advisories to patients, families, and health professionals to closely monitor for warning signs of suicidal behavior in children and adults younger than 25 who take antidepressants. This is especially important at the beginning of treatment or when...

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