Knowing how to properly use over-the-counter medications can help prevent serious reactions and interactions.
Here’s how to read labels, courtesy of the American Academy of Family Physicians:
- The active ingredient, or ingredients, is the first thing on the label and it is the chemical that works to manage the symptoms.
- Uses, or indications, explain what conditions this medication can treat.
- Warnings provide safety information, including whether or not you should consult a doctor, side effects and what to avoid when you take this medication.
- Directions tell you how often to take a medicine and exactly how much to take.
- Other information explains other important details, such as storage recommendations.
- Inactive ingredients explain chemicals included that don’t treat symptoms. This includes things such as binding agents or preservatives.
- Questions and comments provides information should you need to contact the manufacturer.