1. Be prepared. Make a list of prescription drug, nonprescription drugs, and any supplements such as vitamins, minerals, or herbs that you and your family members are taking. Keep a copy in your wallet, and  update it regularly.

2. Have regular medication reviews.  At least once a year, have your general practitioner or primary doctor review your list of medications to make sure there are no dangerous combinations, incorrect dosages, or medications inappropriate for your age and circumstances.  Remember, as time goes by, your body changes, and a medication that was perfectly fine five years ago may not be healthy — or even necessary — today.

3. Take advantage of  pharmacy consult. At the pharmacy, ask for a  consultation with the  pharmacist. Sometimes pharmacists are easier to talk to than doctors, and they can explain whether the drug should be taken alone or with meals and what side effects you need to be alert for. Pharmacists are also highly knowledgeable about medication interactions, so ask the pharmacist to review your list of medications.