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  • Is it important to take prescriptions as directed?

    It's important that you follow the directions on your medication. When you look on a bottle of medication, you will see directions for use. You might read: "Take twice a day until medication is gone" or "take one pill with food for five days." These directions make the prescription most effective to treat your condition.

    When you take your prescription drugs as directed, you should feel better faster, have less chance of a relapse of your condition and prevent your condition from getting worse. If you are taking a prescription medication and start to feel better before you finish your treatment, don't stop taking the medication. Even though you feel better, the medication may not have finished doing its job. If you stop taking your medication, the condition may come back or get worse. If you don't take all your medication as directed, you could put yourself at risk. You could make your condition worse or develop a new condition. Also, any condition that you don't effectively treat now could affect you later.

    Find out if your prescription drugs react with other drugs you take. Prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and herbal supplements all can cause side effects. Some combinations of drugs, vitamins and even food can cause side effects. Some can even alter a drug's effectiveness. Be sure to tell your doctor and your pharmacist about all the drugs that you use, including over-the-counter drugs.

    The directions on prescription drugs are designed to help you get better. If you have questions about your prescription medication, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.