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Questions to Ask Before You Take Meds

Oftentimes we go to the doctor and he or she prescribes medication. A lot of times we just go and pick it up and read the directions and start taking it. It has dawned on me, however, that this is a bit reckless, as most of the time I have no idea what I am putting in my body. The American Heart Association has come up with a list of questions you may want to ask your doc (or pharmacist) before you start popping pills.

  • What is the name of the medicine?
  • Is this the brand or generic name?
  • What is the medicine supposed to do?
  • How and when do I take it, and for how long?
  • What foods, drinks, other medicines or activities should I avoid while taking this medicine?
  • There are more questions you may want to ask, so

  • What are the possible side effects?
  • What do I do if they occur?
  • Is there any written information available about the medicine?
  • What happens if I miss a dose of my medicine?
  • How often will I have to get the medication refilled?
  • How will I know that my medication is working?
  • What are the risks of taking this medication?
  • What are the risks of NOT taking this medication?
  • Are there less expensive medications for my condition?
Join The Conversation
Hera119 Hera119 10 years
I never take pills even vitamin I always think man-made nutrition may bring some side effect
wackdoodle wackdoodle 10 years
Side effects - really important question. My migraine preventatives have major MAJOR side effects including destruction of your cognitive and speaking abilities and memory loss. Trade off it's either take the preventatives or according to new research suffer the return of the seven days of migraine attacks causing more permanent brain damage and in the future a stroke. Always read those RX disclosure insert from the pharmacy about your meds and then google the med and read up on it for all of the info. That's my advice.
SU3 SU3 10 years
Definitely great advice ktjones. I think it's important to not be intimidated - don't be scared to ask any and all questions that you may have. It is your health after all.
ktjones ktjones 10 years
And from years of experience...when you are in the hospital, check that they are giving you the right meds by asking the name and dosage. I am a kidney patient and the doc almost gave me a cancer patients meds. Luckily I was with it. And if I am out of it, I always try to have an advocate present to make sure they are giving my the proper meds!!
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