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Drug tampering



How do you determine if a medicine has been tampered with?


  • Avoid medications that don't look or smell right.
  • Look at the outer package and don't buy it if it is damaged.
  • Make sure the lot number on the bottle matches the lot number of the box it came in.
  • Carefully look at the package and seal before opening it. Take it back if there are any rips, cracks, or breaks.
  • Buy your medications from reputable pharmacies.


US Food and Drug Administration. Buying prescription medicine online: A consumer safety guide. Updated August 14, 2008. Accessed March 14, 2009.

US Food and Drug Administration. FDA’s tips for taking medicines. Updated July 2001. Accessed March 14, 2009.

Review Date: 3/16/2009
Reviewed By: Linda Vorvick, MD, Family Physician, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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