Dear Heloise:

As a pharmacist, I would just like to clear the air. [This is referring to a reader's hint about asking the pharmacist to put on the label what the medication is for -- Heloise.] We have no problem attaching a message to the prescription label, if informed by a patient or physician. However, the pharmacy does not choose to put "take as prescribed" on a prescription label. Those directions come straight from the physician. So, to combat the issue, I recommend that before leaving a doctor's office with a new prescription, make sure the directions are on the paper so that you don't have to remember how to take the medicine!

Erin in Ohio

It is a good idea to reaffirm with the doctor what the prescription is for and exactly how to take it. Be clear -- is it four times a day, or take every six hours? The pharmacist is there to help you, so don't hesitate to ask. And it is nice of pharmacists to help make medication labels clearer. Thanks for passing along your info.

Dear Heloise:

Recently, my husband and I started reorganizing our office area. While going through the file cabinet and writing new labels for the hanging folders, I decided to write the Web site under the company name on the labels.

Missy, via e-mail

Dear Heloise:

I know that when people travel, they usually take their own shampoo, conditioner and soap with them. I do, too, even knowing that the hotels or motels provide the small samples to use.

Since we do a lot of traveling, I save the samples. At the end of the year, before Christmas, I take them to the battered women's shelter. They have people who might only stay a few days, and it helps the shelter to be able to give out the small items that won't go to waste like the larger sizes.

Janie in San Angelo, Tex.

Dear Heloise:

At back-to-school time, if you fill out an emergency card with names of emergency contacts, make sure you give the contact your insurance, doctor and hospital information. Last year, I was called for a friend's young son who broke his nose. I didn't know where to take him and had no insurance information. Now I provide this to my contacts and get it from those who use me as their emergency contact. Could save a life!

Jeanne Lager, Mission Viejo, Calif.

Dear Heloise:

A good use for recycling paper shreds is to take them to an animal shelter to put in the puppy and kitty areas. Our Humane Society also accepts donations of newspapers and does its own shredding.

A reader, via e-mail

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com. Please include your city and state. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.

(c)2005, King Features Syndicate