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How to read a medicine label

Knowing where to find the information you need on a medicine label can be a big time-saver. To help you make sense of the details, here's a breakdown of what each section tells you:

Medicine Bottle
Medicine Bottle
Active Ingredient

The parts of the medicine that make it work.

Uses

The symptoms that the medicine treats.

Directions

The amount or dose of medicine to take, how often to take it, and how much you can take in one day.

Inactive Ingredients

Ingredients not intended to treat your symptoms (e.g., preservatives, flavorings).

Warnings

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 (1-800-222-1222) here.

Other Information

How to store the medicine.

Questions or Comments

How to reach the manufacturer if you have questions about a specific medicine.

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