Take as Directed - Talking to Your Doctor about Medications

February 13, 2017

Take as Directed -Talking to Your Doctor about Medications

Taking an active role in your health can help you get the best care possible.  One step in taking charge of your health is talking to your doctor about medications you are taking, the favorable results of that medication and any potential side effects. 

As you age, and have life changes, such as having a baby, undergoing surgery or experiencing other health events, finding the right medications for you is an important conversation to have with your doctor.  We want to provide you the list of questions that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommend you ask your doctor when a medication is prescribed.

Key Questions to Ask Your Doctor

  • What is the name of the medication, and what is it supposed to do?
  • How long will it be before I should expect to see results?
  • What kind of track record in terms of effectiveness does this medication have?
  • What are the primary short-term side effects of this medication?
  • Does this medication have any long-term side effects that I should be aware of, such as diabetes, sexual side effects, or weight gain?
  • Are there ways to minimize these side effects?
  • How and when do I take it, and when do I stop taking it?
  • What foods, drinks, or other medications should I avoid while taking the prescribed medication?
  • Should it be taken with food or on an empty stomach?
  • Is it safe to drink alcohol while on this medication?
  • Is it safe for me to continue taking aspirin, Advil, vitamins and/or herbal supplements when taking this medication? Is there something specific I should avoid?
  • Is a generic version of this medication available?
  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication? Take it immediately when I remember, or wait until my next regularly scheduled dose?