URL of this page: https://medlineplus.gov/drugsafety.html

Drug Safety

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Summary

Before any drug can be sold in the United States, it must be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is true whether it's a prescription or an over-the-counter drug. The FDA evaluates both the effectiveness and safety of a drug by looking at:

  • How animal testing and human clinical trials affect the condition the drug is treating
  • If any side effects occur
  • How it's manufactured
  • What the labeling says

The FDA also monitors a drug's safety after approval. Health care providers and patients can report drug side effects through the FDA's MedWatch website.

For you, drug safety means buying online only from licensed pharmacies located in the United States. It also means knowing how to take your medicines correctly.

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The information on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.