Why is it important to keep a list of my medications with me?

Keeping a list of all your medications with you is important so you can communicate to health care providers what you are taking. Your list of medications should include prescribed medications, over-the-counter medications, and supplements you take on a regular basis. It is best to list the drug name, dose and how you are taking it, such as “Tylenol 500mg 1 tablet at bedtime.”

There are times when you might need to visit a specialist who may not have your most up-to-date information. In emergency situations, it helps to know what you are taking, since this can change which medications providers will give you, either to avoid a drug interaction or to guide a decision on how to reverse the effects of a medication such as a blood thinner. Using only one pharmacy is a good idea, as the pharmacist can check if a medication is safe for you to use, but this is often not realistic. Many people must use multiple pharmacies due to insurance coverage and mail delivery. Many pharmacies do not communicate with each other, so giving the pharmacists your medication list will ensure that they can check for drug interactions.

Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.