Pharmacy auxiliary labels are adhesive labels that are applied to prescription vials along with adhesive prescription labels to communicate important information about prescriptions to patients. Unlike prescription labels, which cover most of the prescription vial, auxiliary labels are typically small, colorful labels that provide crucial warnings and instructions to patients using as few words as possible. Common examples of auxiliary label warnings and instructions include:
- “May cause drowsiness”
- “Keep in Refrigerator”
- “Shake well before using”
- “Do not crush / swallow whole”
Pharmacy auxiliary labels that contain common messages can be purchased as readymade products that the supplier doesn’t alter before sending the order. However, there are also cases when using custom pharmacy auxiliary labels in addition to standard pharmacy auxiliary labels is optimal for supporting good health outcomes in certain patient populations. Below are four examples of how custom auxiliary labels can be used to support good health outcomes.
- Do Not Take With Other Pain Relievers
Patients who take opiate pain relievers are advised by their prescribers not to take the medications with other pain relievers. However, the importance of the advice makes it worth repeating in the form of an auxiliary label for two reasons: Combining opiate pills with additional types of opiate pills can depress the central nervous system and cause death, and combining them with over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers that contain acetaminophen can cause liver damage, as opiate pain relievers often contain hundreds of milligrams of acetaminophen per pill.
- Do Not Increase Dose Without Doctor’s Approval
When they are prescribed a new medication, patients often receive a low dose of the medicine for two reasons: to monitor them for adverse effects, and because their body is “naive” to the drug, meaning a therapeutic response is likely to be observed even when a low dose is taken.
When patients know the therapeutic dosage range for the medication they take, and they believe the drug isn’t working as well as it should, they can feel compelled to dig deeper into the prescription vial and take more medication than prescribed — a scenario that could have deadly effects. For example, a patient who experiences bleed through pain while taking a strong opiate medication could fatally overdose if he increase the dosage to help alleviate the discomfort.
- Do Not Substitute With Other Medications
It isn’t uncommon for patients to try multiple medications within a certain drug class before they find a medicine that offers the most therapeutic value — a process that should always be overseen by a physician. Otherwise, the health of patients can be placed in significant jeopardy.
For example, a patient that takes Xanax thrice daily for anxiety, does not like how the medication interacts with his system, and decides to acquire Klonopin to take in the same amount as the Xanax can experience increasing feelings of sedation and loss of balance, as the half life of immediate release Xanax is significantly shorter than the half life of Klonopin. Car accidents and falls could easily result if the medication accumulates to dangerous levels.
- Report Adverse Effects to Doctor Immediately
Adverse effects are often an unfortunate part of trying new medications, but some adverse effects are more concerning than others. For example, a patient who takes the heart medication Catapres and feels an unusual sense of calm probably isn’t any danger, as the medicine is relatively well-known to have a calming effect. However, a patient who starts to experience an increased energizing effect from taking an SSRI antidepressant may indeed be in danger, as he could be experiencing the potentially deadly phenomenon known as “serotonin syndrome.”
In the Market for Pharmacy Auxiliary Labels?
If so, you can probably find most of the auxiliary labels you need by shopping for pre-designed labels. However, if you need to communicate information that isn’t commonly found on auxiliary labels, you may need to place a custom order. Whether you require labels that are custom made or pre-designed, Drug Package can supply what you need. To place an order or inquire about custom labels, call us today at (800) 325-6137, or fill out our contact form.