Prescription Medicine (cont.)
What to Do at the Doctor's Office About Prescription Medications
- Provide accurate medical information: It is very important that
health care practitioners know as much as possible about the patient before he or she
prescribes a medication. Provide the health care practitioner with the
following information, make sure that the facts are recorded accurately in the
- Medications the patient a is currently taking: This should include
OTC medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements, and
prescription medications. It is important that each health care
practitioner knows all the medications prescribed to the patient by
other physicians. Do not count on the doctors or pharmacies filling the
medication prescriptions to be able to discover
all the drugs and supplements that each patient takes.
- Past history of allergic or other reactions to medications: Even
reaction seems minor to the patient, discuss reactions such as
dizziness, and other side
effects with the health care practitioner.
- Pregnancy: Let the health care practitioner know if the patient may be pregnant,
pregnant, or is trying to become pregnant, or if she is breastfeeding.
Many medications will cross into the baby's blood during pregnancy or
may pass into milk during breastfeeding. Some of these medications could
be harmful to the baby.
- Patients and caregivers should also ask questions and write down the
answers. A lot of information is presented at a health care practitioner's visit. No one can
remember all the instructions, so take notes. Some good questions to ask
about prescription medications include:
- What does it do? How well does it work and what should I expect?
- When do I take it?
- How do I take it (with food, for example)?
- When do I stop taking it?
- What are the more common side effects?
- What are the serious side effects and how do I avoid them?
- Will this interact with anything else I'm taking?
- Will I get a generic equivalent of the drug prescribed?
- Will this medication affect getting pregnant, the fetus, or
pregnancy; and is it OK to take if I breastfeeding?
- How do I store this medication?