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The 5 Things You Need To Ask When Starting New Meds

The 5 Things You Need To Ask When Starting New Meds
The 5 Things You Need To Ask When Starting New Meds
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This is a checklist of five questions that you must ask before taking any medication:

1) Ask your doctor to answer this question in simple, everyday language:  “Why do I need this drug?”

2) How long will I need to be on it: a month? a year? my entire life?  When will I start feeling better?

3) What if I don’t take it? Am I going to die? Will my pinky fall off?!? If I do take it, what happens if I miss a dose?  Can I double up?

4) What are the alternatives? Are there lifestyle changes I can make to avoid using this drug? How long do I need to wait until I can tell if the lifestyle changes are working before reconsidering taking the medicine?

5) What are the side effects, both immediate and down the road? You need to know if that twitch in your eye is due to your medication or your overbearing in-laws. One you may be able to fix by calling your doctor and adjusting your dosage or treatment. The in-laws, you’ll have to learn to live with.
And, of course, at least twice a year, you should review all your chronic meds with your doc. Also, you should question your doctor if any new symptoms such as fatigue or nightmares crop up. They could be related to your new medicine or due to an interaction between your new medicine and your old ones.  Drug interactions are a common cause of ER visits and morbidity—a diagnosis doctors often miss.  Watch out for them.

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