Do you know what the labeling on your prescription bottle means? If you answered ‘no,’ you’re not alone. Research shows many people are confused about the meaning of their prescription labels.
There are no standards or regulations for prescription labels, and they aren’t reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). But, many patients rely more on these labels than the information that comes with their medication.
Researchers agree that standards need to be created for the icons, colors, and wording used on prescription labels to reduce medication mistakes by patients. They claim ambiguous wording and choice of colors and pictures create problems for all patients, not just those with low literacy skills. A team of researchers from Harvard Medical School and the RAND Corporation is working on a Prescription Bottle Labeling Project and is scheduled to report on warning label problems and potential solutions.