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Medication ABCs

Understanding how medications work may help you better manage your health condition. This information answers the basic questions about drug dosages, side effects, interactions between drugs and foods, and dealing with drug allergies and overdoses. Learn about generic drugs and the mystery of those abbreviations on a prescription.
  1. Cost of Drugs (15)
  2. Drug Allergies (2)
  3. Drug Interactions (2)
  4. Drug Side Effects (1)
  5. FAQs About Your Drugs (44)

How to Calculate Your Generic Drug Savings
Generic drugs can save you up to 80 percent on the cost of a prescription when compared with the brand name drug. See how much you can save on your medications by using the generic drugs calculator.

Can the generic version of my medication cause side effects?
Generic drugs use the same active ingredients as the brand-name version of the drug. Generic drugs must meet the same quality and safety standards as the brand-name version. The FDA requires that a generic drug be the same as a brand name drug in dosage, safety, strength, application, serving and the health conditions that it treats.

Drug Facts Label: How to Read the Drug Facts Label
A Drug Facts label is required on all over-the-counter (OTC) medications. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires all OTC medications have a drug label that provides basic information about ingredients, instructions for use, and important safety cautions and interactions.

Find Your Drug: Using Drugs A to Z
Drugs A to Z has detailed information on several thousand prescription and over-the-counter medications. The guide can be used to find information on drug interactions and side effects.

Erectile Dysfunction and Your Medications
Erectile dysfunction can be caused by many medications and drugs of abuse. Common medications used to treat depression and hypertension can cause erectile dysfunction. Up to 25% of erectile dysfunction in the U.S. is caused by medications.

Generic Drugs – Are Generic Drugs as Safe and Effective as Brand-Name Drugs?
Generic drugs must use the same active ingredients as the brand name version of the drug. A generic drug must meet the same quality and safety standards. The FDA requires that a generic drug be the same as a brand name drug in dosage, safety, strength, the way it works, the way it is taken, and the health conditions that it treats.

Black Box Warnings
Black box warnings, also known as a black label warnings or boxed warning, are named for the black border surrounding the text of the warning that appears on the package insert and label that describe the medication. Black box warnings are the most serious medication warnings required by the FDA.

Understanding Your Doctor's Prescription
Your doctor uses abbreviations (based on Latin words) that tell your pharmacist which medication to give you and directions on how to use that medication. Learning to read a prescription immediately after your doctor writes it will help make sure that you know what medication you are getting. It will also give you a chance to ask questions about your doctor’s instructions.

How Drugs Work in Your Body
There are more than 8,000 medications available by prescription or over the counter. Medications work in your body in a variety of ways. How drugs work depends on a number of factors. Learn more in this overview of how drugs work.

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