May 11 -17, 2014 is National Women's Health Week. Throughout the week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Women's Health is encouraging women to "Use Medicines Wisely". The campaign includes a public service announcement (PSA) and brochure titled, "Use Medicines Wisely," which are designed to help raise awareness about safe medication use.
Millions of people benefit from FDA approved medications and are living longer productive lives. However, when medications are used incorrectly, they can cause serious injuries, even death. Many of these injuries can be prevented.
The PSA and brochure highlight simple steps women can take to use medicines wisely. Viewers are reminded to:
• Ask questions – Ask your healthcare provider to tell you the facts about each medicine you take.
• Keep a list – Write down the names of each medicine including vitamins and over-the-counter medicines like aspirin. Keep the list with you at all times.
• Follow directions Read the directions on the label and ask your healthcare provider how much you should take and when.
• Safely store and throw out medicines - Keep medicines locked in a safe place. Find out how to safely get rid of unused medicines.
Women are also encouraged to visit the website www.fda.gov/womenshealthsafemeds
where they can get a free copy of the Use Medicines Wisely brochure (in English and Spanish) and access links to other FDA resources on safe medication use.
National Women's Health Week is an observance designed to encourage women to take steps to improve their physical and mental health.