Patient /



Medication Safety


Pharmacists in hospitals and health systems play an important role in preventing medication errors. To make sure you use medicines safely and effectively, it is recommended that you:

  • Keep a list of all medications that you take (prescribed drugs, nonprescription medicines, herbal supplements, home remedies, and medical foods). Also, list medicines that you cannot take due to allergic reactions and share those with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Tell your health care provider how you actually take your medication, especially if this is different from the originally prescribed directions.
  • Learn the names of the drug products that are prescribed and given to you, as well as their dosage strength and schedules.
  • Question anything you don't understand or that doesn't seem right. Be especially alert to unexpected changes, such as receiving a prescription refill that seems to have a different strength or appearance from your original prescription.
  • After you complete your list of medications make sure that you update the information as new medications are added or discontinued.
  • Just bring your list of medications when you are scheduled for any appointment or test.
  • Share your medication list with any provider of care. Make sure that all physicians you are seeing look at your medication list.
  • Periodically review your complete medication list with your main provider of care to make sure that all medications are still necessary.
  • Notify your physician or health care provider if you have stopped taking a medication and why. Also remove any medications you are not taking from your list.
  • Organize and clean out your medications periodically. Dispose of medications that you are no longer taking.
  • Never take someone else's medication. It may interact with your medications, the dose may be wrong for you, or you may be allergic to it.
  • Turn on the lights and read the label every time you take your medications and make sure that you have the right drug and that you are following the instructions.
  • Don't store medications in the bathroom medicine cabinet or in direct sunlight. Humidity, heat, and light can affect a medication's potency and safety.
  • Don't chew, crush, or break any capsules or tablets unless instructed. Some long-acting medications are absorbed too quickly when chewed, which could be unsafe. Other medications can lose their effectiveness or make you ill.

Remember, when it comes to your medication list, Just Bring It!

  • Wallet cards are available for you to list your medications. To get a card, please call WMHS Wellnessat 240-964-8422. A list is also available for you to download by clicking HERE. (pdf file)
  • Remember to update your list with any changes in your medications.
  • Along with the name of the medicine remember to write down the dose, how often you are taking it, and why you are taking it.
  • Most importantly: When you are scheduled for any appointment, test, or are visiting the emergency room, when it comes to your medication list - JUST BRING IT!