May Experience: Random Warning Stickers

Sometimes, my meds come with an array of interesting “warning stickers”. It seems my pharmacy has been upping its sticker game lately because it seems like every med I get has a random sticker on it. It was only, though, when a friend messaged me about the lightheadedness she was experiencing from a new anti-anxiety medication, that I really realized the warning stickers that had been accumulating on my medications. And I jokingly asked her if her prescription had come with such a sticker.
She clearly does not go to my pharmacy because it had not.

Sticker Madness

Sometimes, they put these warning stickers right on the inhaler itself. This makes sense. When a med comes in a box though, they often stick a Rx label both on the box, and on the inhaler inside (this is because my doc has “Please label” in her instructions, because of that time an inhaler was returned to me in high school only because of this label, and also because of airport security). Most of the time, though, the sticker ends up only on the box. Given these stickers are mostly, in my case, for my general amusement, this is fine, but I presume for other people, putting them on the actual medication (ie. inhaler) could be of use. Or… it leads me to question the actual importance of the sticker. Is it an actual best practice? Is it a pharmacy policy? Is it to add some color to their otherwise boring labels? Is it just because sometimes the pharmacist is bored?
You’d think if it were important enough to put on every box, including meds I have been on for nearly a decade, it might be important enough to put right on the inhaler? Mysteries, I tell you.

Sticker Game: On Point?(??)

To further delve into the mysteries of the sticker game, here is an assortment of pharmacy stickers I have amongst my collection of meds as of late (excluding the “take at the same time each day” one that I can’t find!)

Exhibit A: May Cause Dizziness

Both a Ventolin (salbutamol) inhaler, and salbutamol nebules boxes, depict the same “May Cause Dizziness” warning. While I understand liquid suspensions may also need to be shaken, I also question the use of a bottle versus an inhaler on this sticker. Fo’real, if you’re getting sticker happy, at least make the sticker depiction accurate.


Labeled Ventolin box: A double whammy of May Cause Dizziness and Shake Well.


The Ventolin inhaler inside, unlabeled.


Salbutamol nebules: May cause dizziness. Funny, they don’t warn you about the shakiness but the dizziness is full speed ahead.


Montelukast (Singulair): One month it may cause dizziness, the next it no longer may cause dizziness!

Exhibit B: Take With Food


From the pre-Sticker Madness era, we present prednisone, warned to “take with food” but not of all other prednisone-induced madness.

Exhibit C: Do not stop treatment or change dose without medical supervision.

Previous iterations of the ADHD medication Vyvanse did not contain this sticker to “do not stop treatment or change dose without medical supervision. Perhaps the pharmacy finally realized I have both 50 mg (week/workday) strength and 40 mg strength (weekend/non-workday) Vyvanse prescribed to me. For four months now.

Exhibit D: The uncommonly shaped sticker

In this artifact, the most random warning of them all: JUN(E). The particular inhaler inside expires in June 2018. It is unknown whether the sticker is for benefit of the user or the pharmacist. In contrast to other stickers exhibited, JUN is round and a real, non-pastel color.

I am still left to wonder whether or not my pharmacy’s newfound sticker overzealousness is useful or “on point”, or simply a new exercise in pharmaceutical ridiculousness.
At least it entertains me for 30 seconds, I suppose?

What is the most random or strange sticker you’ve had on your medication?

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