Without doubt, several of you reading this article would find any number of clear brown bottles in your medicine cabinet with pills you are currently taking, took a time ago, or never took at all. It is not uncommon for me to receive a large box or garbage bag of medications from families when a loved one moves into our home. Medication can be life-saving, life-preserving, and in many cases, life-improving. As you all know, medication is best taken consistently and as prescribed. Medication labels are designed to give you the critical information you need to use your prescriptions properly. Medication labels name the drug and the dose. If you’re not sure what the medication is used for, ask your doctor or pharmacist. It is important to know what condition the medication is designed to control or improve so you can be more aware of its effectiveness and report your thoughts to your doctor. Medication labels also tell you how a medication should be taken or stored. In many cases, these notes will be in little stickers on the bottle. Should my medication be refrigerated, shaken, chewed, etc? Finally, medication labels tell you how much to take and when. It is critical these instructions are followed meticulously. A medication will always be more predictable if taken at the same time every day in the same way. Following your doctors prescription orders meticulously will do him or her the favor of eliminating variables when looking at the effectiveness of a medication. This week, take a peek at those medication labels. Are you doing what they say? If not, bring your questions to your pharmacist or physician.