Medication Safety week reminds us that we need to be more aware of the proper use and storage of medications we take. Medication problems are the sixth leading cause of death, so it’s important to be aware of what you’re taking, how to take it properly, and when to dispose of it. Keep a current list of all medications and supplements you currently take and understand why you take each one. It’s a good idea to list both the generic and trade name of each prescription. Store all medications in their original containers in a cool dry place, and discard after the expiration date listed on the prescription label or container. Read the labels carefully to make sure you are taking your medicine exactly the way your doctor recommends, and that the medication is what your doctor prescribed. Generic medications can vary in size, shape and color from brand to brand, but still be the same medicine, so check with your pharmacist if your medicine looks different. Always read the information provided with your prescription to familiarize yourself with the reason you are taking this medicine, its risks, benefits and side effects. Discuss any concerns with your doctor or pharmacist. Follow the instructions on your prescription label, and never share your medication with anyone else. If you are hospitalized or in a heath care facility, make sure your nurse double checks your wrist band when bringing your medicine. This will help to avoid errors. Medication can be a life saver, but only when used and managed correctly.