About your prescriptions

Prescription medications can help you feel better when you are sick. They can also help treat symptoms of certain medical conditions or infections. You can only get prescriptions from a doctor.

There are many types of medications. This includes pills, liquids, powders and injections. Common prescription medications include inhalers, antibiotics or antidepressants.

You can buy some medications at the store without a prescription. These are called over-the-counter medications (OTC). This includes: cough syrup, Tylenol® or anti-itch creams.

Important things to know

  • Your prescription medications are just for you. Do not share them with anyone. If someone asks for one of your medications, say “No. Tell an adult you trust right away.
  • When you need a refill, call the pharmacy a few days before you run out of medication.
  • Keep your medications in a cool, dry place.
  • Do not take expired or old medications. Call your doctor if your prescription is old or expired.

Where can I learn more?

Tips to keep track of your medications

You can use a chart like this to keep track of your medications and when you need refills.

My medications and doses (how much I take)

Example: Synthroid® (Levothyroxine), 75 mcg once every day

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My refill information

Example: Next pick-up is on May 22, 2017

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My pharmacy's phone number

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My drug allergies

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How to read your prescription label

Your prescription label tells you important information about your medication. Every label is different. The example below can help you learn the most important parts so you can get a refill when you need it.

Rev. 8/2017

MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital do not endorse any of the brands listed on this handout. This handout is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treatment of any medical conditions.