Medicines are used to treat infectious diseases, manage symptoms of chronic diseases, and help relieve pain and suffering. Medicines are generally safe when used as prescribed or as their labeling describes. There are, however, risks in taking any medicine.
Each year in the United States, adverse drug events—injury resulting from the use of medication—result in over 700,000 visits to hospital emergency departments. Many adverse drug events are preventable. Patients and caregivers can help reduce the risk of harm from medicines by learning about medication safety.