Is it difficult to read the label on medicine?

“A woman got a bottle of pills from the chemist’s. She had high blood-pressure. The words on the label were simple enough “Take once a day until finished.” But the woman was from Mexico, and her English wasn’t very good. In Spanish, “once” means 11. So she took 11 pills every day. Soon, she didn’t feel very well and told her doctor. She was lucky she didn’t die.” – Is it difficult to read the label on medicine? – from my ESOL National 3 Student Notes

Have you ever found it difficult to read the label on medicine, or the English on a packet of pills? Do you think labels on medicines should be written in simple English? Should they be available in different languages? Or should patients learn to speak better English? Write about your ideas.

Simple enough to read the label on medicine

For me it’s simple enough to read the label on medicine. First of all, if I know why I’m ill, I also know what kind of medicine should it be. Than, I know a lot of medicine words and where I don’t understand I use my phone or even the dictionary. I don’t think it’s difficult to read the label on medicine for peoples with Latin roots because in the medical system they use Latin names for diseases, for certain substances in medicines etc.

You can use a dictionary to find out what is on the label. Of course, if you want to live in the UK, you have to learn English. It’s a good idea the labels on medicines to be written in other languages. For example Arabic or Chinese. They are so different from English. I noticed that the way they give advice for patients on labels is the same in Romanian like in the UK and probably in the whole world.

“Read the package leaflet before use. Keep out of the sight and reach of children. Store in the original package in order to protect from light.”

My husband’s medicine, Metoprolol. He has to take once a day all his life because of his high blood-pressure.

Is it difficult to read the label on medicine?