Taking Medicines

Frequently Asked Questions

18. What are some ways to avoid side effects?

  • Always inform your doctor or pharmacist about all medicines you are already taking, including herbal products and over-the-counter medications.
  • Tell your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about past problems you have had with medicines, such as rashes, indigestion, dizziness, or loss of appetite.
  • Ask whether the drug might interact with any foods or other over-the-counter drugs or supplements you are taking.
  • Read the prescription label on the container carefully and follow its directions. Make sure you understand when to take the medicine and how much to take each time.
  • If you experience side effects, write them down so you can report them to your doctor accurately.
  • Call your doctor right away if you have any problems with your medicines or if you are worried that the medicine might be doing more harm than good. He or she may be able to change your medicine to another one that will work just as well.
  • Don't mix alcohol and medicine unless your doctor or pharmacist says it's okay. Some medicines may not work well or may make you sick if taken with alcohol.