Talking With Your Provider Or Pharmacist About Your Medicines
It is important for you to know about your medicines. Asking questions is a good idea. Talk about your prescriptions with your primary care provider or pharmacist.
Begin by asking these questions:
· What is the name of the medicine? Medicines can have both a trade name (such as Tylenol) and a chemical name (such as acetaminophen). It is often important to know both.
· How will it help me?
· How and when should I take it?
· How long do I need to take this medicine?
· How much should I take? Are the instructions on the label?
· What do I do if I miss a scheduled dose?
· Should I take the medicine with food or on an empty stomach?
· What foods, drinks, medicines, or activities should be avoided while I am taking this medicine?
· Will it interact with other drugs I am taking?
· Are there any side effects? What should I do if they occur?
· Is there any written information about this medicine that I should have?
· Whom should I call if I have questions later about the medicine or side effects?
· Where should I store my medicine?
· Should I talk to you before I stop taking this medicine?
If you are pregnant, planning to get pregnant, or breast-feeding, ask:
· Is this medicine safe during pregnancy?
· Is it safe while I’m breast-feeding my baby?
If you have small children, ask:
· What should I do if my child accidentally takes this medicine?
Tell your primary care provider or pharmacist:
· The names of all the medicines you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription drugs, vitamins, supplements, herbs, and other natural remedies. Bring a list of all the medicines you are taking with you every time you visit your primary care provider. If it’s hard for you to make a list, then bring the actual prescription bottles. (In many cases, bringing individual pills will not be helpful. They need to be in their original containers.)
· Any problems you or your family members have with medicines, such as allergic reactions or side effects.
· If you are or think you might be pregnant or if you are breast-feeding.
Finally, speak up:
· If you don’t understand what you have been told, ask for the instructions to be explained again. A good way to check your understanding is to ask yourself if you could explain it to your family when you get home.
· Take notes on what you are told about your medicines.
· Ask for additional written information to take home.
· Call back if you have additional questions.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Visit Be Med Wise for information and education on safe over-the-counter (OTC) drug use. OTC drugs are real medicines and must be taken with care.