Why is it important to know how to read a prescription medication label?

Taking medications as prescribed by your healthcare provider helps speed recovery from illnesses and/or manage your diseases. Understanding the parts of a medication label can be difficult. This picture decodes the parts of the prescription label. Learning how to read the label correctly may help reduce the chance of unnecessary visits to the provider's office, emergency room or readmission to the hospital.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/22/2020.


  • US Food and Drug Administration. How Do I Use Prescription Drug Labeling. (https://www.fda.gov/about-fda/project-renewal/how-do-i-use-prescription-drug-labeling) Accessed 4/27/2021.
  • Rx Outreach. Understanding Prescription Medication Labels. (https://rxoutreach.org/education-understanding-prescription-medication-labels/) Accessed 4/27/2021.

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