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.
1. Active ingredient
The parts of the medicine that make it work.
Describes the symptoms that the medicine treats.
Indicates the amount or dose of medicine to take, how often to take it, and how
much you can take in one day.
4. Inactive ingredients
Ingredients not intended to treat your symptoms (e.g., preservatives,
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.
You can also find the Poison Control Center phone number here.
6. Other information
How to store the medicine.
7. Questions or comments
Call the company if you have questions about a specific medicine.
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