Categories
Life Scary Science

Reading the label

Image: foto76 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I have noticed recently just how useless the information on the outside of medication is. The adverts invariably say “always read the label” but compared to the leaflet inside (which sometimes amounts to a full book) the label is often uselessly vague.

Take, for instance, the antibiotics I’m taking now. On the front it tells me to avoid milk at the same time as taking the medication. It doesn’t tell me why, it just leaves me to assume that my stomach will explode should tablet and milk mix at any point. It also doesn’t offer any guidance on what exactly constitutes “the same time” – does in mean in the same mouthful, or do I have to wait thirty minutes, an hour, or three hours after taking the pill before I can have milk? Nor does it really elaborate on what it terms as ‘milk’ – is yoghurt okay? Cream? Should I avoid milk chocolate?