Medication can improve or save lives—if taken correctly. If used incorrectly, both prescription and over-the-counter medicine can be harmful. Every year, adverse drug events send more than 1 million people to hospital emergency rooms. Accidental ingestion of medication is also one of the leading causes of childhood poisoning in the U.S.
If your child accidentally ingested medication, call IPC at 1-800-222-1222. Call 911 if your child is unconscious, not breathing, or having convulsions or seizures.
IPC recommends you store all medicine safely and out of reach of children, as many medications look like candy. If you have children at home, remind visitors and caregivers to keep their medications in a safe place (i.e., not in a coat pocket or purse).
Before taking any new prescription, ask your doctor or pharmacist how it may interact with your existing medications. IPC also suggests you ask your doctor if there are certain foods, beverages or activities you should avoid while taking certain medication.
IPC is here to help. If you have questions about medication, call IPC at 1-800-222-1222 to speak with a toxicology expert. The IPC helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Calls are free and confidential.