Questions to Ask Your Doctor or Pharmacist About Medications

Use this list of questions as a checklist before starting any medication

  1. What is the name of the drug? (Be sure to ask about both the brand name and the generic name and write them down so you can be certain to remember them.)
  2. What exactly is the drug supposed to do?
  3. How long will it lake for me effects of the drug to become apparent?
  4. Should the drug be taken with food or on an empty stomach? Are there any foods I should avoid while taking the drug? Or any foods I should add to my diet?
  5. What are the drug's most common side effects? Which are the most serious? What should be done if they appear?
  6. How much medication should I take? How often? For how long?
  7. Should l abstain from alcohol while taking this drug?
  8. Is there an expiration date on the medication's label? How should I store the drug? Should I discard any that is left over? If so, how should this be done?
  9. What should I do if I miss a scheduled dose?
  10. Are there any activities to avoid while using this medication?
  11. How much does the drug cost? Is there an equivalent generic form that is less expensive?
  12. Is the drug available in other, perhaps more convenient, forms?
  13. What written information is available on this drug and where can it be found?
  14. Are there any alternatives to drug therapy for the ailment, such as exercise, nutrition therapy, or alternative treatments?
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