Drug Safety

Every day millions of Americans turn to over-the-counter medications for relief from pain, colds, flus, upset stomach, and more. Visit our Safe Meds page to learn more about safely selecting and taking OTC pain medications, and disposing of unwanted medications.

Watch our new films on safely choosing,
taking, storing, and disposing of medications.

 

Related Pages

Clinical Trials

Date: April 28th, 2017

Paying It Forward: Participating in Clinical Trials

Getting medical discoveries from the research lab to patients depends on clinical trials and the people who volunteer to participate in them.   Volunteering in a trial may help society at large by bringing new treatments one step closer to patients, and may help a loved one if you have a genetic disease or condition.  Volunteering may also give you access to a cutting-edge treatment and medical team that carefully monitors your health.  But clinical trials can’t happen without volunteers, and 37% don’t enroll enough patients to move forward.  Clinical trials need volunteers like you so watch this short film to find out more about why they are important, how to get involved, and what it means to participate.

FILM COMING SOON


#SafeMeds Twitter Chat

Date: March 25th, 2016

This is a transcript of the #SafeMedsChat held on March 23, 2016.


Safe Medicine Use, Storage, and Disposal

Date: January 11th, 2016

Every day, millions of Americans turn to over-the-counter medications to treat their pain, colds, fevers, stomach upset, and more. But these same medications can cause harm if they aren't taken safely. These resources walk viewers through:

  • Choosing the appropriate OTC pain medication
  • Taking it safely and according to directions
  • Storing it Up and Away and out of sight of little ones
  • Disposing of it when they no longer want it

Three pocket films, a patient quiz, and links to other important resources are included.


Pain Survey Press Kit

Date: March 4th, 2015

Welcome to the press kit page for the Alliance for Aging Research's survey of 1,600 Americans ages 18 and over on how they experience and manage pain.

Related Topics: Drug Safety


UpAndAway - Grandparents and Medication Safe Storage

Date: August 12th, 2014

Get educated on safe medication storage so you can keep it up and away and out of sight of kids.

Related Topics: Drug Safety

Press Room

Statement on Congressional Action to Reauthorize the FDA’s Prescription Drug and Medical Device User Fee Programs

Author: Cynthia Bens

Date: March 22nd, 2017

Alliance for Aging Research Vice President of Public Policy Cynthia Bens issued the following statement regarding congressional action taken this week to begin consideration of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) prescription drug and medical device user fee programs.


Alliance and 90+ Organizations Urge Senate Committee Chairs to Safeguard U.S. Vaccine Policy during Price Confirmation Process

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: January 19th, 2017

The Alliance has joined with more than 90 national organizations in urging the Senate to ensure Secretary of HHS nominee Tom Price, M.D., is committed to protecting U.S. citizens from vaccine preventable diseases.


Press Kit for the Safe Medication Disposal Film

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: March 21st, 2016

Welcome to the press kit about the "pocket film" on safe medication disposal.


New Film Offers Tips on Safe Disposal of Unwanted Medications

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: March 21st, 2016

The Alliance has launched a new “pocket film” that offers consumers a simple step-by-step guide on safe disposal of both over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications.


Press Kit for the Nutrition and Healthy Aging 'Pocket Films'

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: March 7th, 2016

This is the press kit for the nutrition and healthy aging "pocket film" series.


Press Kit for OTC Pain Medication Safe Use and Storage Films

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: March 2nd, 2016

This is the press kit for the OTC pain medication films. 


Before Seeking Relief, Know Your OTC Pain Medication

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: March 2nd, 2016

The Alliance for Aging Research has debuted two animated “pocket films” focused on educating consumers about how to safely choose, take, and store OTC pain medication.


New Survey Shows Americans Prefer Education Over Restricted Access When It Comes to OTC Pain Medications

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: March 9th, 2015

Results Also Reveal Many Older Adults Use OTC Medications to Relieve Pain


Treatments to Slow Aging and Stymie Chronic Disease in Older Adults on the Horizon

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: September 19th, 2014

Nonprofit Leader Dan Perry to Offer Insights at MipTec European Health Care Innovation Conference


This Grandparents Day Remember to Keep Medicine Up and Away and Out of Sight of Grandkids

Type: Alliance for Aging Research

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: September 4th, 2014

While grandparents place a top priority on their grandchildren’s safety, an often overlooked danger lurks within easy reach of children in their care: unsecured medications.


National Campaign to Help Older Americans Manage Medicines

Date: April 2nd, 2007

Consumer Health Education Center Launches National Campaign to Help Older Americans Manage Medicines

Publications


Public Comments

Comments on CMS-3295-P by the Alliance

Author: Alliance for Aging Research

Date: 2016

The Alliance for Aging Research submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on its proposal rule: CMS-3295-P, Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Hospital and Critical Access Hospital (CAH) Changes to Promote Innovation, Flexibility, and Improvement in Patient Care.




Pocket Film

Safe Medicine Disposal

Author: Alliance for Aging Research

Date: 2016

An estimated 40% of medications go unused, but what do you do with medications that you no longer want or need? This film gives a simple step-by-step guide on how to dispose of over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications in a way that keeps them out of the hands of young children, prevents abuse, and is safe for the environment. Learn what medications can be disposed of at home and how, as well as how to find community and Drug Enforcement Agency take-back programs. 

Related Topics: Drug Safety



Pocket Film

OTC Pain Medication: What You Need to Know

Author: Alliance for Aging Research

Date: 2016

Tens of millions of Americans reach for over-the-counter (OTC) medications for relief of minor aches and pains.  But just because they’re OTC doesn’t mean they’re harmless.  And with more than 1,000 acetaminophen and NSAID containing medications, choosing the right one can seem overwhelming.  

Related Topics: Drug Safety



Pocket Film

Safely Taking and Storing OTC Pain Medication

Author: Alliance for Aging Research

Date: 2016

Once you choose an over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication that’s right for you or a loved one, it’s important to store it Up and Away and Out of Sight of young children and where it prevents misuse, and dispose of it properly when you no longer want it. 

Related Topics: Drug Safety




Public Comments

Letter on Funding for NHSN, Antibiotic Resistance Solutions Initiative, and AMD Initiative

Author: Various Organizations

Date: 2015

This letter to Sen. Thad Cochran, Sen. Barbara Mikulski,  Rep. Harold Rogers, and Rep. Nita Lowey from various organizations, including the Alliance for Aging Research, requests "$32 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) and the Prevention Epicenters Program; $264 million for CDC’s Antibiotic Resistance Solutions Initiative; and ask for your continued support of the Advanced Molecular Detection (AMD) Initiative at $30 million in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. " 



Public Comments

Letter to Hatch and Bennet in Support of the Promise for Antibiotics and Therapeutics for Health (PATH) Act

Author: Various Organizations

Date: 2015

This letter was from various organizations, including the Alliance for Aging Research, to Sen. Orrin Hatch and Sen. Michael Bennet to "express support for S. 185, the Promise for Antibiotics and Therapeutics for Health (PATH) Act, legislation to establish a new limited population antibacterial drug approval pathway for antibiotics to treat serious or life-threatening infections for which there exists an unmet medical need."




Fact Sheet

Tips for Grandparents on Safe Medicine Storage

Date: 2014

As part of a collaboration with the CHPA Educational Foundation, the Alliance is helping spread the word about safe medicine storage in grandparents--who are increasingly involved in the primary care of young children.  This tip sheet, based largely on insightful and important data from Safe Kids Worldwide, is designed to be shared with seniors to help them keep their grandchildren safe.

Blog

Dispose of Your Old Medications on April 29 for Take-Back Day

Author: Breanna Bishop

Date: April 22nd, 2017

April 29 is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day! Learn how you can properly dispose of unused medications and how to avoid misuse.


Learn About Safe OTC Usage During National Poison Prevention Week

Author: Breanna Bishop

Date: March 20th, 2017

It's National Poison Prevention Week! Learn how you can safely use over-the-counter pain medications.


Medication Safety Film Highlights Safe Acetaminophen Usage

Author: Breanna Bishop

Date: January 13th, 2017

Millions of Americans use over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications for relief of minor aches and pains. One of the most commonly used types of OTC medications is acetaminophen. While acetaminophen is used quite often, it still carries risks. The Alliance has a collection of "pocket films" that offer you tips on safe usage of acetaminophen.


The Importance of Medication Safety

Author: Breanna Bishop

Date: November 9th, 2016

Millions of Americans use over-the-counter (OTC) medications for relief of minor aches and pains. While OTC medications are readily available, they still carry risks. 


October 22 Is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Author: Breanna Bishop

Date: October 21st, 2016

This Saturday, October 22, is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. The event, led by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, encourages consumers to safely dispose of their unused prescription drugs. Learn more about the day and ways you can safely dispose of medications.


#OurBestShot Twitter Chat Archive Available

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: September 23rd, 2016

On September 22, the Alliance for Aging Research and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) hosted a Twitter Chat on the importance of vaccines for older adults. 


A Guide to Simple and Safe Disposal of Medications

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: June 21st, 2016

Here's a guide on how to simply and safely dispose of medications.


Alliance Offers Comments on FDA OTC Monograph User Fees

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: June 15th, 2016

Last Friday, on June 10, Vice President of Public Policy Cynthia Bens presented comments on behalf of the Alliance at a U.S. Food and Drug Administration public meeting focused on OTC monograph user fees. 


April 30 Is National Prescription Take Back Day

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: April 29th, 2016

Tomorrow, April 30, is National Prescription Take Back Day. If you have unwanted medications, you won't want to miss this opportunity to safely dispose of them.


HROTW: Resources for National Poison Prevention Week

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: March 25th, 2016

For our Health Resource of the Week, a round up of important poisoning prevention resources.


Alliance Puts Focus on Medication Safety during National Poison Prevention Week

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: March 23rd, 2016

During National Poison Prevention Week, the Alliance offers resources galore to educate and motivate you to practice medication safety.


Our #SafeMedsChat Is Tomorrow!

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: March 22nd, 2016

The Alliance's #SafeMedsChat on Twitter is tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET. Find out how you can be a part!


Press Release about National Poison Prevention Week 2016

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: March 17th, 2016

The Poison Prevention Week Council, of which the Alliance for Aging Research is a part, has issued a press release in advance of National Poison Prevention Week.


HROTW: Video on What to Know About OTC Meds

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: March 3rd, 2016

Our Health Resource of the Week is a new video that introduces you to what you need to know about over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications. 


Join Us on March 23 on Twitter for a #SafeMedsChat

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: February 22nd, 2016

Join us on March 23 at 1 p.m. ET on Twitter for a #SafeMedsChat about safe usage, storage, and disposal of medications. 


HROTW: Quiz on OTC Pain Medications

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: February 10th, 2016

This Health Resource of the Week challenges you to test your knowledge about OTC pain medications.


New Pocket Films on Safe Medication Usage and Storage

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: February 5th, 2016

The Alliance has released two new pocket films on safe OTC pain medication use and storage.


A December Update on PDUFA and MDUFA

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: December 22nd, 2015

A December update on PDUFA and MDUFA


Talking about Your Medicines

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: October 7th, 2015

Today we want to talk about your medicines, as October serves as Talk about Your Medicines Month. 


HROTW: Infographic on What Americans Feel about Pain

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: September 23rd, 2015

For our Health Resource of the Week, we share this infographic to make you aware about what Americans feel about pain and what they do to treat it.


HROTW: Safe Medication Infographic

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: June 18th, 2015

Our Health Resource of the Week puts the focus on medication safety and kids.


This Week Is National Poison Prevention Week

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: March 17th, 2015

This is an opportunity to raise awareness about the danger that poisonings create to people of all ages and to help prevent accidental poisonings.


Infographic on Pain Incidence and Management

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: March 10th, 2015

Today we released a survey of 1,600 Americans ages 18 and over that reveals insights on pain and OTC pain medications. This infographic offers a summary of the results.


'Tis the Season for Medication Safety

Author: Guest Blogger

Date: December 23rd, 2014

We are sharing this guest blog post from our friends at the Up and Away Campaign about medication safety during the holidays.


This Grandparents Day Put Your Medications Up and Away

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: September 4th, 2014

This Sunday we celebrate National Grandparents Day.


Consumer Reports Is Feeling No Pain

Author: Susan Peschin

Date: August 4th, 2014

Type: Blog

Alliance President and CEO Susan Peschin, MHS, writes about a Consumer Reports article on opioids and acetaminophen.


New Educational Resource on Acetaminophen Now Available

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: June 26th, 2014

Today, the Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition released a superb new report called Acetaminophen: How It's Used, Preventing Overdose and What We Can Do to Promote Safe Use.


Turning a Blind Eye on Patients

Author: Cynthia Bens

Date: May 22nd, 2014

Type: Blog

Alliance Vice President of Public Policy Cynthia Bens discusses AMD and older adults. 


Learning about Safe Medication Use--It's a Must!

Author: Lindsay Clarke

Date: January 19th, 2012

Older Americans make up 13% of our population but account for 34% of all prescription medication use and 30% of all over-the-counter (OTC) medication use. This is due in large part to the fact that 4 out of 5 older Americans has 1 or more chronic conditions—often requiring multiple medications at once.

Newsletter

Resources to Introduce You to Medication Safety

Date: March 9th, 2016

We have all the resources you need to learn about medication safety. And join us on March 23 for a Twitter chat on safe medication use, storage, and disposal!


What You Should Know about Supplements

Date: March 9th, 2016

Kait Reinert gives an overview of supplements for our Science in the Spotlight feature.


Up And Away: Taking and Storing Medications Safely

Date: November 24th, 2014

Older adults account for 34 percent of all prescription medication use and 30 percent of all over-the-counter (OTC) use, making safe and effective use of medications vitally important.


Pain and Confusion: Figuring Out How to Safely Treat Pain

Date: May 1st, 2010

Are you or a loved one dealing with persistent pain but confused about what medications are safe? Understandably so! Treating persistent pain can be challenging and now warnings about the risks of leading pain relievers have left many of us wondering what we can do to safely treat our pain.


The Savings and the Safety of Drug Importation

Date: June 1st, 2009

The president and Congress are embarking on a fervent campaign to reform our damaged health care system. Few would disagree that there is waste in our current system, and even fewer would disagree with the fact that we need to bring healthcare to the 46 million Americans who are currently uninsured. But, many in Washington and across the country disagree on how to go about financing the massive health care overhaul that lawmakers are now proposing.


Manage Your Over-the-Counter Medications

Date: July 1st, 2007

Over-the-counter medications can be an effective and relatively inexpensive way to reduce pain, get a good night’s sleep, and be more productive. But because they’re available easily without a prescription, many people may mistakenly believe that taking them contains no risk.

Related Topics: Drug Safety


Unerstanding the Effects of Grapefruit Juice on Medications

Date: July 1st, 2006

For more than a decade, doctors have known that some compound in grapefruit juice interacts with a small number of drugs to triple the amount of that drug absorbed into the bloodstream.