Use your prescription medicines safely: How to read prescription drug labels

Navigating the “medicine label” of a prescription drug: How to read and understand the information in prescription labels

Whenever you are prescribed a medication, you should read and follow the information in the medication’s “label” in order to ensure your safety.

  • All prescription medicine containers include information on the label including the patient’s name, the name of the medicine, dosage and instructions on how often to take the medicine.
  • More detailed printed information about the medication is usually provided by the pharmacy when prescription medicine is dispensed. This Patient Medicine Information (PMI) includes important information such as instructions for use, and warnings about side effects and possible drug interactions.

Get familiar with the different parts of your prescription drug labels with this example. Use your cursor to rollover the different sections of the label to learn more.

Prescription Label


Source: Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition;