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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a recall on certain brands of drugs containing valsartan, a popular heart and blood pressure medication. Medication recalls such as this often go unnoticed by the patient and can lead to health complications or safety issues. To ensure medication safety for you and your loved ones, follow these tips.

Pay attention to recalls

Be aware of recalls for the medications you take. The FDA has a directory of recalled medications that is constantly updated. You can even subscribe to its email list to receive notifications of recalls and safety alerts. Most patients find out about medication recalls through their pharmacy. But being proactive and educated about your medication is always a good idea.

Check for old and expired medications

It’s easy to store medications in a medicine cabinet and forget about them. Be sure to go through your medications often and get rid of any expired or old medications that you no longer need. Keeping these medications can cause confusion and potentially lead to you taking the wrong medication. The UCF Health Center has a secured Drug Take Back Box for safe and convenient disposal of old medications.

Keep medications out of reach

Keep medications high and locked away from children or others. Medications falling into the wrong hands can have serious health consequences. If you are storing highly addictive medications or controlled substances, consider using a lockbox for storing your medications.

Keep track of your dosages

Keeping a list of your medications and the dosages prescribed for each can help prevent confusion and misuse. If you are taking several medications at the same time, buying a pillbox organized by week or month makes it easy to stay on top of your medications and avoid taking the wrong dose.

Don’t share your medication

Medications are prescribed for the specific needs of each patient. You should never share medications with others, including friends and family. Even if someone is prescribed the same medication as you have, the dosage was selected specifically for you and could lead to dangerous health issues if misused.

Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus, and the newest one in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Information for both facilities can be found at, or call (407) 266-DOCS to schedule an appointment.

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