Questions to Ask Your Physician When Medicine is Prescribed

(from the Caregivers’ Guide to Medications and Aging” document at Family Caregiving Alliance)

I have made a MS Word document with these questions so I can easily jot down answers in the space next to the question. I’ve also color-coded the questions so that some are for the doctor and others are for the pharmacist. I can print my document whenever anyone in my family goes to the doctor. I will try to figure out a way to post this document, because it can be useful to others. Perhaps I can figure out how to make a new page on the blog and post a life-size graphic.

  • Why is this medicine prescribed?
  • How does the medicine work in my body?
  • How can I expect to feel once I start taking this medicine?
  • How will I know that the medicine is working? Is there a typical time period after which my symptoms should improve?
  • How long will I have to take the medicine? Will I need a refill when I finish this prescription?
  • Will this medicine interact with other medications—prescription and nonprescription—that I am taking now?
  • Should I take this medicine with food? Are there any foods or beverages I should avoid? (Grapefruit, for example, may interfere with the action of certain medications.) Is it safe to drink alcohol while on this medicine?
  • Are there any activities I should avoid while taking this medicine?
  • Can this medicine be chewed, crushed, dissolved, or mixed with other medicines?
  • What possible problems might I experience with the medicine? How can I prevent these problems from occurring? At what point should I report problems with the medicine?
  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medicine, or take too much?
  • What is the cost of the medicine prescribed? Is there a less expensive alternative prescription?
  • Is a generic version of this medicine available? If so, should I purchase the generic instead of the brand name medicine?
  • Do you have written information about the medicine that I can take home with me?
  • Does the pharmacy provide special services such as home delivery or comprehensive medication review and counseling?

My Chart With Medication Questions

2 thoughts on “Questions to Ask Your Physician When Medicine is Prescribed

  1. Pingback: Aging Parents, Boomer Children: Advertising Medicines « As Our Parents Age

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