Thing To Ask When Starting a New Medication

Things To Ask When Starting a New Medication

By: Samantha Steiner


Bring a notepad to your appointment or in this day and age open up the notepad app in your smartphone and take notes. Sometimes Remember your pharmacists will actually have more, and better, answers for you than your actual doctor will.

Here are a list of questions to ask about your new medication:

  • Name of medication and spelling?
    • Is it in generic or brand name only?
      • If it is a brand name only…
        • Are there samples?
        • Is there an alternative I can take in case my insurance won’t cover it/I can’t afford it?
  • What is this med exactly for and what is it supposed to do?
  • What is the starting dose?
  • What dose do they anticipate they will go up to?
  • How long does it take to feel the full effects?
  • What are the major side effects?
    • What are the most common side effects?
      • How can I minimize the side effects?
      • How long do the side effects normally last?
        • Are there any known long term side effects?
  • Will it interact with my other meds?
    • Make sure that your doctor has an UPDATED list of all the meds that you are currently on including over the counter, vitamins and supplements.
  • What time of day should I take it?
  • Should I take it with/without food?
  • Do I need to do any special testing to monitor this med?
    • If yes, what and how often?
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