Taking Medicines

Frequently Asked Questions

12. What questions should I ask my doctor when taking a new medication?

If your doctor prescribes a medication for your condition, try to find out as much about it as you can, including how to take it properly. Ask the following questions and write down the answers before leaving the doctor's office.

  • What is the name of the medicine, and why am I taking it?
  • What medical condition does this medicine treat?
  • How many times a day should I take it? At what times?
  • Do I need to take it with meals or between meals? Do I need to drink a whole glass of water with it?
  • How much medicine should I take?
  • May I drink alcohol while on this medication?
  • How long will I have to take it?
  • How will I feel once I start taking this medicine?
  • How will I know if this medicine is working?
  • When should I stop taking the medicine?
  • If I forget to take my medicine, what should I do?
  • Are there any side effects I should know about? When should I call you if I am having side effects?
  • Can I safely mix this medicine with the remedies, vitamins, and over-the-counter drugs I am taking?

Also be sure to remind your doctor or nurse about your allergies and any problems you have had with medicines, such as rashes, trouble breathing, indigestion, dizziness, or mood changes.