SENIOR LIVING: Patients need to ask questions when getting new medication

There’s no denying that prescription drugs can save lives. But men and women have a right to explore their options when doctors prescribe them medications, and asking the right questions when doctors suggest medication can help men and women decide if prescription medicine is their best option.

  1. To help men and women make the best decisions regarding their healthcare, the National Institute on Aging advises people to ask their physicians these questions when being prescribed a new medicine.
  2. What is the name of the medicine, and why am I taking it?
  3. Which medical condition does this medicine treat?
  4. How many times a day should I take the medicine, and at what times should I take it?
  5. If the prescription instructions say the medicine must be taken “four times a day,” does that mean four times in 24 hours or four times during the daytime?
  6. How much medicine should I take?
  7. Should I take the medicine on its own or with food? Should I avoid certain foods and beverages when taking this medicine?
  8. How long will it take this medicine to work?
  9. Will this medicine cause problems if I am taking other medicines?
  10. Can I safely operate a motor vehicle while taking this medication?
  11. What does “as needed” mean?
  12. When should I stop taking the medicine?
  13. What should I do if I forget to take my medicine?
  14. Can I expect any side effects? What should I do if I have a problem?
  15. Will I need a refill, and how do I arrange that?