Talking to Your Doctor About Medications


Before you start taking any prescription medication, it's important to talk to your doctor. You need to learn how to take it correctly. And understand how to use it safely. Get the facts. Here's what you should discuss with your doctor.

The basics

First, cover the basics. Make sure you know the name of the drug. And make sure you know why your doctor has prescribed it. Ask for a fact sheet about this medication.

Other options

No matter what condition you have, you likely have more than one drug option. Some drugs are newer than others. Some are cheaper than others. Make sure you know why your doctor recommends this particular drug for you. Has your doctor ever prescribed this drug before? What about other, similar drugs?

Correct use

Now, learn how to use this drug correctly. How often will you take it? Are there any special instructions for how you should take it? And could it interfere with any other medications or supplements you take?

Side effects

Ask about possible side effects. Drugs can cause things like upset stomach, or changes in the color of your urine. They can cause weight gain or fatigue. You need to know about these so you know what to expect.


And finally, if you start a new medication and you have any unexpected problems (like a rash or breathing issues) take it seriously. You may be allergic to this drug, and this can be life-threatening. So contact your doctor immediately.