How to read a prescription label

A woman reading the label of her prescription at home

When you get a new medicine delivered to your home, the first thing you’ll want to do (after taking it out of the package, of course) is read the prescription label.

Prescription labels pack a lot of information into a small space. Let’s take a closer look at a sample CenterWell Pharmacy® prescription label and the information you might find there.

a picture of a Humana Pharmacy Rx Label

What’s on this prescription label?

First and last namethis tells us who will be taking the medicine—whether that’s you or a dependent.

Drug name and strengththe name of the medicine inside the container, as well as its strength (e.g., 10 mg).

Instructions: in this box, you’ll find any special directions from your prescriber.

Substituted for: if your prescription was filled with a generic or alternative drug, this line shows the name of your original brand-name prescription.

Rx#: a number unique to your prescription. If you refill, you’ll need to provide your Rx number.

Quantity: this is the amount of medicine in your container. If your medicine comes in pill form, this could be a number. If your medicine is a liquid, this could be an amount such as “10 mL.”

XX refills until: this tells you how many refills you have left. On your last refill, this line will read “No Refills Remain.” If you need more after that, your prescriber will need to renew your prescription.

Prescribing doctorthe name of the person who prescribed this medicine.

Discard by: this line shows the date the medicine will expire. After this date, you should throw out your medicine.

Drug ID: here, we’ll describe what your medicine looks like.

Dosage: this line tells you how much you should take at one time and how often you should take it.

Drug information: these lines are for important notes like possible drug interactions and precautions.

Ready to fill a new prescription?

Now that you know what to expect, you can see how easy it is to fill a prescription with CenterWell Pharmacy. Get started here.

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