Medication Questions

Written by Tara Peris
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Any patient taking a new prescription drug should take the time to make sure that all medication questions are answered before leaving the doctor's office. Although the pharmacist who fills your prescription can answer many basic medication questions, there is no substitute for advice from someone who knows your medical history well. Whether discussing side effects, dosage, or potential drug interactions, it is best to get information from your primary care physician (PCP).

For most people, receipt of a prescription signals the end of the medical visit. Prescription in hand, most patients are eager to rush out and fill the medicine that will remedy their ailment. All too often, however, people leave without a thorough understanding of what treatment entails.

Discussing Medication Questions with Your PCP

Taking medication is not always as easy as one might think. First, there are the basic considerations, such as whether to take pills with food or on an empty stomach. This may seem irrelevant, but many drugs metabolize more effectively when taken on an empty stomach. Along these lines, some medicines cannot be consumed with milk or prior to driving.

Understanding the proper procedures for taking medication is only the first step of the process. Equally important is an understanding of common side effects and drug interactions. There are a host of issues that can emerge, from increased blood pressure to decreased birth control pill effectiveness. Think carefully about all potential medication questions and be sure to raise them with your PCP before moving on to the pharmacy.

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