5 Questions You Should Ask Your Doctor When Being Prescribed A New Medication
Treating chronic diseases requires prescription medications. Even though you may use natural methods to manage your health condition, sooner or later, you need to fight what ails you with pharmaceutical drugs. That being said, it's important that you need to consult a physician before you buy any type of medication.
As your doctor hands you the prescription, make it a point to ask questions about your new medication. Having a good understanding of the pills that you're about to take isn't only crucial to your overall health management, but it's also your right as a patient.
So, the next time you visit your doctor and you're given new meds, take the time to have the following questions answered:
1. Why Am I Prescribed With This?
As with anything in life, knowing the 'why' of things is important in making better decisions. Every health condition has its own set of prescription medications. But no two patients are alike; your case is different than other patients. Learning why you need to take certain pills allows you to understand your disease and take the necessary steps or lifestyle changes to prevent your disease from getting worse.
For example, if you ask your doctor why you're being prescribed with Prednisone, you'll learn that you probably have low levels of corticosteroid. Also, you get to know that prednisone can be used to treat asthma, allergies, and arthritis. Thus, knowing why you need your pill makes you aware of its purpose, which will push you to take it religiously and even cause you to change your lifestyle to totally cure your disease.
2. How Will I Use The Medication?
Most medicines can be taken orally. While there are medications that can be applied topically, most pharmaceutical drugs come in the form of tablets, capsules, or solutions. Essentially, ask your physician how to use your new medication.
In addition, you should know how much dosage you need to take and how many times during the day. Ask if you need to take your pill with food or if it's safe to take it on its own. Do you need to chew the tablets or are you not allowed to crush them?
By knowing how to use your medicines and sticking to the directions given, you have a better chance of fighting your disease. Also, your recovery will be faster and will have a higher chance of success.
3. What Are The Benefits And Side Effects Of The Medication?
There's no denying that while medicines can help treat diseases, they can also pose some risks to patients. For instance, the example mentioned above, Prednisone. It's listed in Johns Hopkins Vasculitis Center as one of the treatment drugs for vasculitis, but it may also cause headaches and even weight gain.
Thus, always ask your doctor what to expect after you take your medication and what you can do in case you experience its side effects.
4. Are There Specific Precautions When Taking The Meds?
Before you buy the prescribed medication, you need to know if there are special precautions you need to take before you take the pills. You need to be proactive when asking this question, that is, tell your doctor if you have any allergic reaction to certain drugs or other active ingredients that may be present in your medication. Are there contraindications for your pills? Will their efficiency be compromised when taken alongside supplements and other meds?
Medicines are expensive. Sure, you can learn some tips to save costs, but the ultimate goal is that whatever you're taking should give you the desired results. By knowing precautionary conditions, your doctor will be able to adjust or formulate better doses for optimum results without sacrificing your overall health. You'll be able to save more if you get the medicine and the dosage that'll truly fit your needs.
5. When Will I Know That The Pills Are Working?
Before you leave the doctor's office, ask how long it'll be before you see the results. Taking new medications entails a new learning process for both you and your doctor. Are the pills working just because your symptoms are gone?
You need to know when you must return for a visit or if your doctor needs to revise your dosage.
Patients need to take a more active role when consulting with their physicians. Every patient is unique and a good doctor won't give all patients the same pills. Also, remember that you 'e under no obligation to always agree with what your doctor prescribes to you. After all, it's your health that's at stake. Thus, be proactive and ask questions when seeing your doctor.
The key is to work things out with your doctor. The importance of asking questions cannot be overemphasized. Don't leave your doctor clueless and, above all, learn to understand what your pills can do. Through your questions about your new prescription medications, both you and your doctor will be better informed about how to deal with your health condition.