Examples of Medication Misuse

Some examples of potentially harmful ways medication misuse can occur:

  • Taking two medicines with the same active ingredient, for example two kinds of cough and cold medicine
  • Drinking alcohol while on medication. This can trigger and worsen already existing medical problems as well as increase the risk of a fall. Many prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, and herbal remedies can be dangerous or even deadly when mixed with alcohol.
  • Taking an extra dose because you forgot that you took your medicine already
  • Putting all your pills in one container, then not remembering which color pill is for what
  • Deciding to stop taking a prescription without talking to your doctor first
  • Sharing someone else’s pills that are for the same illness, such as high blood pressure. That other person does not have the same medical condition as you and is not the same weight or have the same allergies. This is dangerous!

Ways to Prevent Medication Misuse

First, make an appointment to see your doctor to talk about your medications. Learn more

Some safe steps to help reduce dangers of medication misuse:

  • Make a list of all your medicines and the time you are to take them. You can print a form at this link.
  • Read the warning labels!
  • Check the label every time you take medicine. Take the right amount of medicine at the right time
  • Always have the lights on
  • If you use glasses, wear them
  • Use a pill box that you can set up for the whole week
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