Ask your doctor about your child's medication

Don't be afraid to ask!

Almost every child is at some point prescribed medication by a doctor. As a parent, you're entitled to ask questions and be informed about proper handling, dispensing and storage of medications for your kids. Doctors and pharmacists are specially trained to answer inquiries about using and storing medication, so never hesitate to ask. And any medication for your child will come with instructions that answer common questions.

Did you know...

Reporting adverse reactions

If you or any of your loved ones have experienced adverse reactions to prescribed medication (or other health products), you should report them to Health Canada. There are many ways to do so:


Visit the MedEffect Canada Web site - a service operated and administered by Health Canada that receives adverse reaction reports and provides new safety information on drugs and other health products. Find out about side effects.

Mail a Consumer Side Effect Reporting Form. Complete the form, use the postage paid label provided, and mail it to a Canada Vigilance Regional Office. You can also fax the form to 1-866-678-6789.

Complete a report online.

Call by phone - Canada Vigilance Regional Offices can be reached toll-free at 1-866-234-2345.

Submitting a consumer complaint:

If you would like to file a consumer complaint with Health Canada, please read our guidance document, How to Submit a Consumer Complaint, to learn more. To submit your complaint, you can call the Health Products and Food Branch Inspectorate toll-free number at 1-800-267-9675.

Medication Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs

Should medication be refrigerated or kept at room temperature?

It depends on the medication. Ask your doctor or pharmacist, or consult the medication's instructions for specific directions to follow.

Is medication sensitive to humidity, heat or direct sunlight?

It is always recommended to store medication in a dry, cool place away from direct sunlight and heat sources. The sensitivity depends largely on the medication - ask your doctor or pharmacist or consult the medication's instructions for specific directions to follow.

What is the expiry date on the medication?

Different medications expire at different times. Look on the medication itself or the instructions to find a printed expiry date. NEVER use a medication past its printed expiry date.

Is the cap (or safety cap) screwed on tightly to prevent my child from accessing the medication?

The answer should always be yes. Make sure to keep all medication out of the reach of children and safely closed.

Has the medication visibly changed since you last saw and used it/gave it to your child?

If so, DO NOT use it. NEVER use medication that has changed colour, consistency or odour, regardless of the expiry date. Capsules or tablets that stick together, are harder or softer than normal, or are cracked and chipped should be disposed safely.

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