Use Of Medicines - Top Queries You Should Not Miss Asking Your Doctor

Use Of Medicines - Top Queries You Should Not Miss Asking Your Doctor
30 Sep 2021
9 mins
Table Of Content
Use Of Medicines - Top Queries You Should Not Miss Asking Your Doctor

    Although prescribed drugs and medicines help us live longer and healthier, taking them the wrong way or mixing them up can be dangerous. You should be aware of the use of medicines you have been prescribed by your doctor & keep track of your medications to continue using them safely for optimal health.


    Drugs, also known as medicines, can be sub-divided into:

    • Prescriptions – What you can get your hands on only when a doctor diagnoses you with a specific ailment such as diabetes, asthma, etc and gives you a  prescription with suggested medicines to procure.
    • Over-the-counter - Pills, creams, and tablets – What you can buy without a doctor diagnosing you, such as medicine for common cold and headache. In other words you don’t need a prescription from doctor to procure them.
    • Dietary Supplements and Vitamins - Should suggestively be taken after consulting your physician. As a patient, you must ensure your doctor is well aware of all the supplements and medicines you're taking. Including everything suggested by some other doctor, such as over-the-counter creams or pills you use regularly, herbal remedies supplements, etc.


    What should you know about your medicines?

    Speak to your healthcare provider, doctor or nurse before you start a new medicine. Ensure you mention all your issues such as allergies, rashes, dizziness, trouble breathing, indigestion, or abrupt mood changes. This will help you and your doctor, nurse, or healthcare provider to find out if you need to stop another medicine (supplement or over-the-counter pills or cream) before or while you take this medicine. Mixing a few drugs is not at all advisable and can also cause serious issues. Keep track of everything you take, be it prescription drugs, supplements, or over-the-counter pills


    Before starting a new medication, ask your doctor why you're being prescribed this particular medication and also make a note of any special instruction added to it.

    Questions to ask your doctor before you start your new medicine:

    • What are the uses of medicine I have been prescribed with?
    • Why am I being prescribed this medicine, and how would it help me in the long run?
    • How can the use of medicines given to me help my medical condition?
    • How to take medicine? The number of times a day and how much should I take?
    • How long will it take before this medicine starts helping me with my condition?
    • Is there any restriction on eating or drinking when I'm taking this medicine? Should I take it with food?
    • Will this medicine contradict the effects of any other medication I'm taking?
    • When should I stop taking this medicine?
    • If I fail or forget to take one dose, what should I do?
    • What side effects can this medication cause? What should I do if a sudden problem happens due to the medicine?

    Whenever you visit your doctor, ask if you still need to continue with your medication and let them know if you're taking any new medicine.


    How can a pharmacist help you with your queries?

    A pharmacist can generally answer all your queries about proper use of medicine, supplements, and over-the-counter pills, creams, or drugs. Always try to get your medication from a single pharmacy to have your records at their disposal which will further help your pharmacist suggest you if a new drug can cause an issue. Even when you can't get medicines from your regular pharmacy, ensure you've all your prescriptions at your disposal so they can help you with your medications, supplements, etc.


    A few things you should tell your pharmacist:

    • Ask about special instructions related to storing the medicine.
    • Be clear if you have trouble with tablet uses or swallowing pills and prefer syrups more to check if there's any such alternative available.
    • Check the medicine label; it should have the expiry date, and other necessary details clearly stated.

    Before you leave and start taking your medicine, ensure you're not allergic to any one of the ingredients so that your doctor and pharmacist don't hand you medications you could be allergic to.


    What are the side effects of medicine?

    Unwanted or unexpected feelings or symptoms when you start taking a new medicine are known as side effects. Side effects can be minor at times, such as a dry mouth, headache, or thirst, but sometimes they can also be life-threatening, which can cause severe irreversible damage to your liver or kidneys. When experiencing side effects, note them down so you can accurately describe them to your doctor. Call your doctor immediately if it seems like the medicine is doing more harm than good. 


    How to take medicines safely? 

    • Check with your doctor before stopping – While some prescribed medicines are supposed to be taken as needed, a few other medications aren't okay to stop until your doctor asks you to do so. 
    • Be honest about your alcohol consumption, drugs, and smoking habits – Be crystal clear about your addiction, if any, as some medicines can cause an adverse reaction on your body when consumed with alcohol, tobacco, drugs, etc.
    • Follow instructions – Ensure to take your medicines as per the instruction and label. 
    • Take the right amount – Don't indulge in a larger dose, thinking it would speed up the process of you becoming fine as it can be hazardous and even deadly. Don't take half doses or skip to save money either. 
    • Take your medicines on time – Ensure that you take your medication as instructed; you can use reminders and timers at your disposal to maintain this.
    • Report side effects or problems – Call your doctor right away when the side effects seem to do more harm than good. Calling your doctor immediately might help them prescribe you an alternative that would work for your condition.


    How to keep track of your medicines?

    Here are some tricks and tips to keep track of your medicines effectively:

    • Note it down and make a list – Note down all the medicines you take, including prescribed drugs, supplements, etc. This list should be all-inclusive of each medication you take, the number of times you take them, and the amount(dosage).
    • Check expiration dates – Don't consume medicines that are expired. Check with your doctor if you need to continue the said medicine.
    • Ensure medicines are out of reach of young children – Avoid taking medication in front of curious children as they can try to copy you, which can be fatal for them.

    Thus, it is essential to know the proper use of medicines before you start taking them, ask your doctor every question that comes up on your mind, even if it sounds stupid to you. After all, it's about your health and well-being. 


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    DeboditaContent Writer
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