Your Smart Guide to Prescription Drugs & How to Take Them Safely 
The information provided on this website and in the book, Just The Right Dose: Your Smart Guide to Prescription Drugs & How to Take Them Safely, is intended for educational purposes only. The author is not a physician and is not dispensing medical advice. The information in the book is not to be used as a substitute for treatment or advice from a practicing physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider, or to diagnose or treat any medical condition. For any health issues that require diagnosis or treatment, please consult your own physician or in cases of urgency, an urgent care clinic or emergency department. 


Who should read this book 

While anyone who takes or gives prescription drugs should read Just the Right Dose, adult women in the U.S.and Canada are more likely than men to take medications and to give them to someone in their care.

The percentage of Americans who used at least one prescription drug in the past month rose from 44% in 1999 to 2000 to 48% in 2007 to 2008; those using two or more prescription drugs increased from 25% in 1999 to 2000 to 31% in 2007 to 2008, and those using five or more prescription drugs increased from 6% in 1999–2000 to 11% in 2007 to 2008.

According to a study published in Pediatrics in 2014, over a 10-year period, almost 700,000 children under the age of 6 years were victims of out-of-hospital med errors. Of these, 25 died and 1,900 received critical care. One child every eight minutes is harmed by a drug error.

 Women are also the main caregivers of dependent adults. In 2012, 66% of the approximately 52 million U.S. caregivers were women, usually aged 35 to 65 years old. Women are also most often responsible for giving medications to their children. In 2007 to 2008, one out of every five children in the U.S. were using at least one prescription drug.

​There are at least 4 to 5 million Canadians who care for a family member with long-term health problems. As in the U.S., caregivers are usually women, aged 45 to 64 years.

​An estimated 41% of people, aged 6 years to 79 years, who live in the community have taken at least one prescription at any one time. The 65 to 79-year-old age group were most likely to take at least five prescription drugs – and this is also the group that has the highest likelihood of needing help from a caregiver.



Marijke Vroomen Durning graduated from Vanier College's RN program in 1983 and has been a member of the Quebec Order of Nurses since then. She began working in Montreal-area healthcare facilities including the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the MacKay Center, the Julius Richardson Convalescent Hospital, the Jewish General Hospital, and others. She has vast experience working with both adults and children, clinically and in supervisory roles.


Ms Vroomen Durning began working online as an editor in the mid-to-late 1990s, and in 1999 began a seven-year stay with the Doctor's Guide to the Internet. Following that experience, she began freelancing as a writer, editor, and proofreader, while still working occasionally as a nurse to stay up-to-date with her nursing skills. She now works exclusively as a freelance writer and editor, mainly writing about health issues. Vroomen Durning is a former first aid instructor, has spoken on panels and has given workshops on writing, and has given talks about living with chronic pain. Vroomen Durning still lives in Montreal,  with her husband of almost 30 years and her youngest of three children. She spends as much of her non-writing time as possible creating beautiful quilts.


For more information, visit her website at

Just The Right Dose:

The Book:


Did you know that there is a difference between instructions that tell you to take a pill ‘four times a day’ and those that say ‘once every six hours’? Did you know that some pills should never, ever be crushed before ingesting and that doing so could even be dangerous? We all take pills and other over-the-counter or prescription medicines, some more often than others. It’s become such a common practice that most of us really don’t think twice about it. In fact, medications are very carefully developed and calibrated and really don’t work properly unless they are taken in a certain way – with food, without food, in the morning, at night etc. You should always follow your doctor’s instructions, but these days many doctors just don’t have the time to carefully discuss how to take you medication, or you may forget those instructions once you get your medication home. The answer to this problem is Marijke Vroomen Durning’s new book “Just The Right Dose: Your Smart Guide to Prescription Drugs & How to Take Them Safely.” As a nurse, you can bet Vroomen Durning is well aware of all the pitfalls that can occur when taking medication and has offered a book that can help you avoid those pitfalls. This is a quick and easy read and is the sort of resource that should be kept in everyone’s medicine cabinet. - Alison Palkhivala, health and medical writer

Everyone who’s ever taken a prescription, or who may be taking one—and that’s probably all of us—should read “Just The Right Dose: Your Smart Guide to Prescription Drugs & How to Take Them Safely.” This book provides just the right dose of reason and rationale, and reminds us that medications aren’t to be played with, but are to be respected. Who better to write this than Marijke Vroomen Durning, RN, a respected healthcare journalist and editor? As a tribute to her extensive healthcare background and experience, “Just The Right Dose” is required reading for those of us who want to safely manage this important aspect of our own healthcare. - Stephanie Stephens - Journalist, Content Producer, Host

Marijke Vroomen has written an excellent must-read book, Just the Right Dose: Your Smart Guide to Medications & How to Take Them Safely, for anyone who has ever taken a prescription medication for any reason. Packed with excellent tips on everything from injecting medicines to learning how to swallow pills and put in eye drops--and why you shouldn’t break open some kinds of capsules, Vroomen has tackled an issue that nearly everyone needs to know about. The book is packed with important information about taking meds and filling prescriptions, and gives the reader an outstanding overview of anything you ever needed to know about taking medicine.- Jennifer Nelson, Health writer

Marijke Vroomen Durning's "Just the Right Dose" is just the right remedy for medication misunderstandings and mistakes. It's the answer to all those "little" questions we didn't think to ask our doctors or didn't think were important enough to bother our pharmacists about when we've picked up prescriptions or over-the-counter medicines. "Just the Right Dose" explains how to take medicines the right way and why taking them the right way matters very much. It gives readers easy-to-understand, easy-to-follow tips to overcome common obstacles such as having difficulty swallowing pills and capsules, forgetting to take medicines, adjusting medication schedules to time changes, coping with adverse effects, disposing of expired medicines, and much more. It's the ideal quick reference guide for everyone who takes medicines. - Peggy Noonan, health & medicine writer for magazines such as USA TODAY, Modern Woman, Kids Health, Best Years,, and health websites such as and

Book Facts

First Printing: 2015

ISBN - Electronic 978-0-9940300-0-9

ISBN - Print 978-0-9940300-1-6 

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Approximately 10,000 words​

Print: 86 pages, larger print for easy reading

Available at Amazon​, Barnes and Noble, Chapters/Indigo and for Kobo

Articles, blogs, and online reviews

This is a good book about prescription medications and is intended for educational purposes only. The book covers: understanding medications, filling the prescription, taking the medications, and odds and ends. Read more...

​Paul Levy: Not Running a Hospital

"There's a useful new book out by Marijke Vroomen Durning. It's called Just the Right Dose: Your Smart Guide to Prescription Drugs & How to Use Them Safely." Read more...

Is My Son Ready To Take His Prescription Drugs On His Own?
As a diabetic I thought I had a tricks down for dealing with prescription medication but there were a few surprising gems in this book that I didn't know about. Read more...