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Taking medicines - what to ask your doctor

Medications - taking

Talking to your health care providers about your medicines can help you learn to take them safely and effectively.

Take Charge of Your Health

Many people take medicines every day. You might need to take medicine for an infection or to treat a long-term (chronic) illness.

Take charge of your health. Ask your health care providers questions and learn about the medicine you take.

Know what medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements you take.

Get Information About Your New Medicine

When your provider prescribes a medicine, find out about it. Ask questions, such as:

Find Out How to Take the Medicine

Ask your provider or pharmacist about the right way to take your medicine. Ask questions, such as:

Know What to Expect With the New Medicine

Ask about how you will feel.

Ask if this new medicine fits in with your other medicines.

Ask if your new medicine interferes with eating or drinking.

Ask other questions, such as:

When to Call the Doctor

Call your provider or pharmacist if:

References

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality website. Taking medicines. www.ahrq.gov/patients-consumers/diagnosis-treatment/treatments/index.html. Updated December 2017. Accessed January 21, 2020.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality website. Your medicine: Be smart. Be safe. (with wallet card). www.ahrq.gov/patients-consumers/patient-involvement/ask-your-doctor/tips-and-tools/yourmeds.html. Updated August 2018. Accessed January 21, 2020.

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Review Date: 1/23/2020  

Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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