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FDA Free Publications: Use Medicines Wisely

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


Website Example:

More Ways

Computer(s), Internet access, projector, and speakers (for class presentation),

Activity Description

When teaching about medicine use, use the Web site's video, text, and free downloadable publications for students to practice reading and listening.


  • Make sure that the site is not blocked at your school before using it with students. The video is from YouTube, so it may be blocked.
  • Watch the video and read the text. (The video has captions if you watch it at the YouTube site, which you can do by selecting the YouTube logo under the video.)
  • Identify vocabulary that may be unfamiliar to your students to teach them before the activity.
  • Create questions for students to answer to focus their listening and reading. Photocopy or print if necessary.


  1. Ask/brainstorm with students about medicine safety.
  2. What are some dos and don'ts.
  3. You can also open the lesson activity with an anecdote.
  4. Go to the Web site shown above under Web Site Example.
  5. Distribute the text and questions you have printed and photocopied for students.
  6. Tell students that they are going to watch a video and read about medicine safety.

Teacher Tips

  • The Safe Medication Use [www] page contains many other resources including My Medicines: A Medicine Recordkeeper, a brochure available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Polish, and 10 Asian/Pacific Islander languages.
  • Also, there are Medication Booklets that provide information on FDA-approved products for high blood pressure, depression, menopause, high cholesterol, birth control, HIV, and smoking cessation.
  • The one-page Fact Sheets provide easy-to-read information on safe medication use and could be used for life-skills reading exercises: Use Medicines Wisely, Antibiotic Resistance, Buying Drugs Online, Dietary Supplements, Generic Drugs,
    Medicines and Pregnancy, and Over-the-Counter Drugs.
  • Last, there are posters in English and Spanish for download, as well.

More Ways

The FDA Office of Women’s Health (OWH) has developed over 50 FREE publications designed to give women timely health information in a clear, easy-to-read format. There are over 40 fact sheets that provide basic information-at-a-glance about a range of health issues like diabetes, heart disease, cosmetics, menopause, mammography, asthma, and safe medication use. There are also seven medication booklets that list all FDA-approved products for several common health conditions affecting women. The booklets give vital information such as brand and generic names, general side effects and warnings, and questions to ask your health care provider.

To find the printable materials, go to the Free Publications for Women page and select the link under View or Download Publications - English Publications [www]. You can also order free bulk copies of many of the fact sheets.

You can also assign students in groups/pairs to choose a reading, conduct research and report back to class in oral/written presentations.



  • Beginning High
  • Intermediate Low
  • Intermediate High
  • Advanced


Basic Communication

  • (3.6) Understand basic health and medical information
  • (3.4) Understand basic safety measures and health risks
  • (3.2) Understand forms related to health care
  • (3.3) Understand how to select and use medications
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.