(AscendHealthy.com) – No one ever wants to add a new medication to their regimen, but there are times when it’s unavoidable. A new prescription can bring a lot of new concerns, so it’s important to have questions. We’ve compiled a list that might help.
Ask Your Doctor These 7 Questions About New Prescriptions
1. What Is the Purpose of This Medication?
Most of us want to be minimalist with our drug regimens, so it’s important to be sure you even need this prescription. Ask your doctor if changes in diet, exercise or even supplements could reduce or eliminate your need to take this medication. Also, make sure you understand how it works and why it’s necessary for your health.
2. Is There a Generic Available?
There can be huge differences between brand-name and generic prices. In some cases, you could pay 95% less going with the latter. There’s also no evidence suggesting that generics are less effective or more dangerous than brand-name drugs. However, your doctor will need to specify on your prescription that you want the generic alternative or you will run into problems with insurance coverage.
3. How Long Will I Need to Take This?
Are you taking this medication for an acute problem, or should you expect to fill it every month for the rest of your life? Will you need to be reassessed after a certain period of time? If you’re going to have to take this drug for a while, make sure you’re informed about any long-term effects.
4. What Side Effects Should I Know About?
You might be surprised by the bizarre symptoms some prescriptions can create. For example, proton pump inhibitors — those “harmless” pills you take to prevent heartburn — can cause gastric polyps and kidney disease. Sleeping pills, benzodiazepines, statins and seizure medications can cause memory loss. Some drugs also have the potential for abuse, while others add the risks of withdrawal. Know what you’re getting into before you start taking a new prescription.
5. Are There Any Interactions?
There are many medications that can become less effective, or even dangerous if you take them with other medications or certain foods. Some prescriptions can also cause serious issues if you suffer from specific medical conditions. Make sure your prescription doesn’t interact in any way that might adversely affect you.
6. What If I Miss a Dose?
Some medications can be dangerous if you don’t time the doses right. In most cases, it’s best to skip a missed dose and get back to your regular schedule as quickly as possible, but your doctor will know best how to handle yours. Don’t forget to ask ahead of time, just in case.
7. What Else Should I Watch Out For?
Some medications have specific warnings, such as advice against use during pregnancy or alerts against driving under the influence. Ask your doctor if there’s anything specific to this prescription that you need to know. You might need to plan ahead or take extra measures to avoid complications.
Fill your prescriptions with confidence. Be informed about all your medications — which begins with asking the right questions. With the right preparation, you can start all your new medications as safely and effectively as possible.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension!
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