Taking Medicines Safely

Each of us will respond differently to a medicine. That’s why we all need to handle prescription drugs carefully. Find out how to minimize the possible side effects of your medication.

Each of us can have a different reaction to medicine. That’s why it’s so important to follow your prescription.

Five Tips to Reduce the Risk of Side Effects

Before you take a new medication, make sure you understand the risks. Every approved medicine on the market has gone through rigorous testing for safety and efficacy, but each carries a risk of side effects. For example, a drug designed to control blood pressure can reduce the chances of heart attack, but in rare cases it can cause fatigue, which might lead to a patient falling and getting hurt.1

Ask Questions!

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist any questions you might have about the medicine. You might ask:

  • How long has it been on the market?
  • How does it treat your condition?
  • What is its “safety profile”?
  • Are there special instructions, like taking it at a certain time of day, or with food?
  • Will it interact safely with other treatments or supplements you may be taking?

Know the Risks and Think Ahead.

Medicines can be powerful compounds. When you speak with your healthcare provider about your prescription, take your time. Make sure you understand:

  • what the risks are, 
  • what to look out for, and 
  • what to do if you experience an adverse effect.  

Make a List: What Else Are You Taking?

Think about anything you might be taking regularly:

  • prescription medicines,
  • over-the-counter treatments,
  • wellness supplements or special foods, like grapefruit.

Check the Packaging Carefully: Read the Label and the Insert.

  • Look for information about potential interactions between this medicine and other things you might be taking to manage your health and wellness.
  • Follow the instructions to the letter.  

Ask More Questions.

If you have more questions after you read the label and insert, or if you think you might be experiencing an adverse event, contact your healthcare provider.

How to Report a Side Effect

If you experience an adverse event or side effect after taking a Sanofi medicine, whether it’s prescription or sold over the counter, please let us know right away.