You have to protect yourself against medical prescriptions by asking either your doctor or pharmacist the right questions.
Many times patients will take the prescription and trust that their doctor know what he’s doing. And that is great! But when it comes to your health and the drugs you take, you need to participate by asking him questions.
Today, too many prescription medications cause serious side effects, and can interact badly with other medication you’re taking. Even vitamins, herbs and certain foods can interact badly. Something as simple as sun sensitivity can also cause problems. So ask your questions.
Don’t rely on your doctor or pharmacist to voluntarily give you this information, even though they are suppose to, because a lot of times they don’t. So here are some questions to ask…
How To Pronounce The Medication’s Name:
A lot of times you are prescribed drugs with names you can’t pronounce. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to pronounce it for you. There is a good chance that you will one day need that information.
What Are The Side Effects:
Like I mentioned earlier, some drugs may have serious side effects, and you want to know what signs to look for. Your doctor or pharmacist should also explain how you can minimize these effects.
Would You Be Allergic To This Medication:
Ask if the drug contains anything you might be allergic to. Even though your doctor is suppose to have this information, a lot of times he or she may not have made note of your allergies, so remind them by asking them.
How Long Must You Take The Medication:
Sometimes they will tell you, but again maybe they won’t. Either way, you need to find out. If you stop taking certain medications too soon, it limits the effectiveness, and if you take it too long, it may cause unwanted side effects.
When Is The Right Time To Take Your Medication:
It may not matter, but a lot of medications are best taken at night, before you go to bed, or with food. So ask the question, because they might tell you it’s best taken in the morning, on an empty stomach.
Can You Eat Food With Your Medication:
Ask what foods the medication can and can not be taken with. You may need to take it with food, milk or water. You may also need to avoid taking it with certain foods. Some medications tell you not to take with citrus fruit because of the acid, and some will tell you not to take certain vitamins because the medication negates its usefulness.
How To Store Your Medication:
You need to know how to store your medication. The last thing you want to do is store it improperly, and have it loose its potency, or become rancid. The costs are too high for this to happen.
Is There A Generic Version:
Find out from your doctor only! If your pharmacist recommends one, please check with your doctor before buying the generic version. Your doctor knows your medical history a lot better, and will be able to tell you if this is what he wants for you.
If he does, then this is the route to go. Especially if the generic is giving you the same benefit as the non-generic brand. However, be sure, because a lot of generic brand medications don’t provide the same level of treatment as the brand medications do.
Is The Medication Necessity:
Find out if the medication being prescribed is necessary. Sometimes doctors will prescribe medication just to appease you. I’m talking about non life threatening illnesses where over-the-counter medication will do just as great, and they are cheaper.
Do You Have The Right Prescription:
I can’t even begin to explain how important this is. Pharmacist and their assistants are human, and mistakes can be made. It doesn’t hurt to have them double check and make sure they gave you the right medicine. This happened to me, and the only thing that saved my eye was that the ear medication they gave me had some of the same ingredients.
Can You Have Samples:
When your doctor prescribes a new medication for you, ask him for samples instead. This will eliminate spending money on medication that may not work.
It is very important to protect yourself when it comes to medical prescriptions. Too much can go wrong due to receiving the wrong medication or side effects. And the side effects may not show up until it’s too late to reverse them.
And last, don’t be afraid to talk with your doctor about other, less expensive options or procedures that might be helpful instead. Not only will you avoid the side effects, but you would be able to keep that money in your pocket every month.
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