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Even if you live a healthy lifestyle, some medications may be necessary to keep your health and well-being in the best standing. However, medication nonadherence is a widespread problem often caused by a lack of knowledge and communication about the medicine and why you need it. These are the questions to ask your doctor about new medications so that you can feel comfortable taking them.  

What Do I Need It For?  

The answer may be obvious, but your doctor will be able to tell you all the details of what you might be facing and how the prescription will combat it.  

Why This Medication?  

Your doctor will have specific reasoning for why they chose to prescribe you the medication they did. However, a discussion can open the possibility of discovering a cheaper generic option or an alternative you may be more comfortable taking. Your doctor may even have lifestyle change and natural remedy recommendations if you aren’t comfortable with the prescription.   

When Will I Notice a Difference?  

Not all drugs will work immediately, so it’s best to discuss with your doctor when you can expect to feel differently and when you should be worried about not feeling any differently. This way, you know what to expect and when it’s time for another visit if you haven’t felt any improvements in your health.  

What Kind of Side Effects Are There?  

Side effects—some more serious than others—accompany every drug. These side effects are found during preliminary testing before the drug hits the market. Have a discussion with your doctor about the likely side effects and when to stop using the medication if the side effects become severe.   

What Should I Do If I Miss a Dose?  

If the prescription your doctor gives you has strict guidelines for how and when you should take it, ask what you should do if you miss a dose. Each medication will have different recommendations, and missing a dose isn’t an uncommon phenomenon. 

When Can I Stop Taking It?  

Even if you feel better, you may still need to use the medication. Ask your doctor if you can stop taking the medication when you feel better or if you should continue with the prescription.   

Is There Anything I Should Avoid?  

Some medications react poorly with substances such as alcohol, with certain foods, or with over-the-counter drugs. Before starting a new medication, you should have a clear idea of what can and can’t interact with the medicine.   

The next time your doctor recommends a new prescription, come prepared with these questions to ask your doctor about the new medication so that you feel comfortable with what you’re putting in your body.

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