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Medication Safety

Call us - the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center - with any question you have about a medicine.

Our specially trained pharmacists are always there to answer. We're serious about helping you take your medicines safely.

Here's why!

Drugs are the source of the most poisoning exposures in Americans over age 20. The drugs most likely to be involved are

  • analgesics (pain relievers, including acetaminophen)
  • sedatives/hypnotics/antipsychotics
  • antidepressants

The substance associated with the largest number of deaths in the U.S. is acetaminophen - as in Tylenol.  More than 600 over-the-counter and prescription medicines contain acetaminophen. It's very easy to overdose without realizing it.

Most drug overdose deaths are accidental; 2010 data shows 78 percent of overdose deaths in the U.S. were not intentional.

Common causes of poisoning from medications are

  • Accidental double dosing
  • Wrong medication taken or given
  • Incorrect does
  • Doses taken too close together
  • Taking someone else's medication unintentionally

So always, always, always be cautious about taking a medication. Follow the instructions on the label carefully. If you have questions, don't guess - call us. If you do make an error, call us first. We'll help you know what to do next!

Originally posted: Sep 15, 2014
Last updated: Aug 25, 2017