You and your family can help your doctor find the right medications for you. The doctor needs to know your medical history, other medications being taken, and life plans such as hoping to have a baby. After taking the medication for a short time, you should tell the doctor about favorable results as well as side effects.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and professional organizations recommend that the patient or a family member ask the following questions when a medication is prescribed. Print this page out and take it in with you to your doctor.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor
- What is the name of the medication, and what is it supposed to do?
- How long before you expect to see results?
- What kind of track record in terms of effectiveness does this medication have?
- What are the primary short-term side effects of this medication?
- Does this medication have any long-term side effects that I should be aware of, such as diabetes, sexual side effects, or weight gain?
- Are there ways to minimize these side effects?
- How and when do I take it, and when do I stop taking it?
- What foods, drinks, or other medications should I avoid while taking the prescribed medication?
- Should it be taken with food or on an empty stomach?
- Is it safe to drink alcohol while on this medication?
- How do you monitor this medication? Are there specific tests you run to help monitor this medication?
- What are you prescribing this particular medication over a similar medication?
- How will we know when it’s time to stop taking this medication, or if the dose will need to be changed?
- Is it safe for me to continue taking aspirin, Advil, vitamin and/or herbal supplements when taking this medication? Is there something specific I should avoid?
- Is a generic version of this medication available?
- What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication? Take it immediately when I remember, or wait until my next regularly scheduled dose?