Every year in the United States, patients experience 1.5 million adverse medication events, where they become sick or need to go back to the hospital because of a problem with the medicine they are taking. The pharmacists are take steps every day to ensure that patients are getting the right medication, and avoid unnecessary trips to the hospital. It’s also very important to know about your medications to avoid adverse medication events. Please take a moment to check the frequently asked questions below.
What is this medication used for?
Have an understanding of what your medicine is used for and how it works. Some medications can have many uses, so knowing why you have been prescribed the medicine is important.
How often do I need to take this medication?
There are some medicines that take longer time to work and need to be taken once in a day only. Others might work in a short time and may require to be taken twice or thrice a day. Sometimes you need to take a medicine until you finish it, not just until you feel better. Make sure to ask your pharmacist how often you need to take your medication.
How am I supposed to take this medication?
It’s not just what medicine you take, but also how you take it. When in doubt, follow the instructions on the bottle or ask your pharmacist or doctor to be certain.
- Make sure to read drug label carefully as there are some medications that are needed to be taken with food or on an empty stomach.
- There are certain foods that should be avoided while taking your medication.
- Check with your doctor for specific medication interactions to avoid food drug interaction, drug-drug interaction, or drug-alcohol interaction.
- Do not break, crush, or chew medications before swallowing them unless you have been instructed to do so.
- Do not take a double dose of medicine. More is not better.
- Ask your doctor about other drugs, dietary supplements, or natural medicines that can interact with your medication and can result in unwanted side-effects.
What are possible side effects I can expect?
Some medicines may lead to unwanted side-effects. These unwanted effects may often go away when your body gets used to that medication. But sometimes medicines can lead to potential side-effects. Make sure to consult your health care provider in case of any emergency.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
Even the most careful people may miss a dose sometimes. Talk with your doctor about what you should do if you miss a dose of your medicine. Discuss and write down what to do for each medicine as the step you need to take after missing your dose may vary from one medicine to another.
How should this medication be stored?
Keeping medicines in a place that is too hot, too cold, or too humid may reduce their effectiveness. So it’s really important to store your medications properly. Find out from your pharmacist how to properly store your medicines. Make sure to store your medications out of the reach of children.
Is there any test or monitoring required while taking the medicine?
Some medicines start working immediately, while other medicines may take some time like a few days to weeks before you notice a difference.