Prednisone burst – read the entire label for instructions!

I'm on a blister pack steroid burst (pop out the pills from the package) of prednisone. On the back of the blister pack, there are instructions for Day 1, Day 2, etc. 

It says, Day 1 – take 2 with breakfast, 1 with lunch, 1 with supper, 2 at bedtime.  Day 2….

Well, I picked up the prescription at dinnertime, so the Day 1 schedule was all messed up. So I was very confused about how much to take and when because my Day 1 was almost over. The doctor's office and the pharmacy were closed. I made a guess and proceeded, but now my days are off.

This morning, I realized there were instructed at the bottom of  Day 5 that tells you what to do if you are starting your prescription after breakfast time on Day 1.

Sigh. I should have read the entire thing. I also think they should redesign the label to put those instructions at the top of the package next to the Day 1 instructions!

I wonder if they test labels with patients before putting them out on the market to see if they are understandable and to identify how patients may make mistakes.

What do you think?


Comments 3

  • K8sMom2002

    I've done similar things … So much so that now one of my stock questions to my doc is, "How should I start taking this med?"

    And if it's an on-hand prescription to take as needed, I try to write myself a BIG note on how and when to take it and wrap it and rubber band it around the bottle. DD has a bleeding disorder that requires meds we give every now and then. I'm always anxious anyway at times like that. Sometimes when I've totally blanked out and failed to write "cheat notes," I'll either call the pharmacy and see if they have an on call pharmacist or I'll call the doctor's after hours number. 

    Another option: some insurance companies have a nurse/pharmacy hotline for just such a question. I know Blue Cross Blue Shield did with my previous employer. 

  • Jen

    I have also seen where the directions on the bottle and the directions on the inserts of meds are different. It can be frustrating, particularly w meds you need to take several x a day.