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Protect Yourself Against Tampered Medicine

Over-the-counter and nonprescription medicines are now packaged so that it is easier to notice signs of tampering. A tamper-evident package is required by the FDA to either be unique so that it cannot be copied easily, or to have a barrier or indicator that will be easily noticed if broken.

To protect yourself against tampered medicine, it is important that you check for signs of tampering whenever you buy or use a medicine.

Tips to protect yourself against tampered medicine:

  • Read the label. Be alert to the tamper-evident features on the package before you open it. These features are described on the label.
  • Inspect the outer packaging for signs of tampering before you buy a product.
  • Examine the medicine itself before taking it. Check for capsules or tablets that differ from the others that are enclosed. Make sure the tablets are not cracked or discolored. Do not use medicine from packages with tears, cuts, or other imperfections.
  • If the medicine is a liquid, make sure it is not discolored. If it appears cloudy, thick do not take it. Also make sure there are no particles in the bottom of the bottle.
  • Never take medicine in the dark.
  • Examine the label and the medicine every time you take it or give it to someone else.
  • Make sure the expiration date, lot number, and other information the same on both the container and its outer wrapping or box.
  • Tell somebody if the product doesn’t look right. Do not buy or use medicine that looks suspicious. Always tell the store manager about questionable products so that they can be removed.

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