Your Doctor and Pharmacist Are Her to Help

Your doctor and pharmacist are your partners in protecting your health. Part of their job is to provide patient education. When you get a new prescription, be sure to ask the following questions:

  • What is the name of the medicine and what is it supposed to do?
  • Is there a less-expensive alternative?
  • How and when do I take the medicine and for how long?
  • Should I take it with water or food?
  • What should I do if I miss a dose?
  • How do I time my doses? (For example, does “four times a day” mean I have to take it in the middle of the night?)
  • What does “as needed” mean?
  • Are there any other special instructions, such as where to store the medication?
  • What (if any) foods, drinks, other medicines, dietary supplements or activities should I avoid while taking this medicine?
  • Will any tests or monitoring be required while I am taking this medicine? Do I need to report back to the doctor?
  • What are the possible side effects and what do I do if they occur?
  • When should I expect the medicine to start working and how will I know if it is working?

Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration