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7 things drug labels must contain

Drugs are not just dangerous when they're defective or not manufactured properly. They can also be dangerous if they are not labeled correctly. Though the drug itself could technically be safe, a mistake on a label can lead to serious issues for those using it.

This labeling process is governed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To help people with over-the-counter (OTC) medications, they listed seven things that must be included on the label. In order, they are:

  • Drug facts
  • Uses
  • Warnings
  • Directions
  • Other information
  • Inactive ingredients
  • Contact information

In many ways, the first — drug facts — is most important to consumers, which is why it tops the list. Included in that section will be the active ingredient, ensuring that people know exactly what they're taking. This section also tells people what concentration per unit dosage has been used, and it informs people of the pharmaceutical action or purpose of the drug.

On one level, this just helps the consumer make an informed decision. People need to know the purpose of the drug and may buy based on the active ingredients. However, it's far more than commercial. It helps to prevent overdoses and situations where people accidentally take medications to which they're allergic. Mistakes made on the label could be fatal if someone winds up with the wrong medication or the wrong amount.

Were you harmed when the negligence of a drug company caused you to take an OTC medication improperly? Even the smallest inaccuracy could land you in the hospital. You must know all of the legal options you have to seek compensation for those medical bills.

Source: FindLaw, "OTC Labeling Requirements," accessed Nov. 07, 2017

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