Medications can do a lot to help us, but it can be surprisingly tricky to take them the right way. Some work better on an empty stomach, some work better with food. With some, the risk of an overdose isn’t serious, but with others, you need to be very careful when you take a pill. Some drugs work even better when you pair them together, but others cancel each other out or cause some dangerous side effects.
Because of all of these unknowns, you need to be sure you have all the information your doctor can give you and be absolutely clear about what all the terms mean. So before you start taking any medication, make sure you understand all the following information.
- Side effects. Just about every drug has side effects, and you need to know what they are.
- Allergies and negative reactions. If anything bad has happened after taking medication before, your prescribing physician should know about it. Even if the new drug isn’t the same as the old drug, it could be similar enough to cause a problem.
- Dosing schedule. “Per day” could mean throughout 24 hours or throughout the 12 daytime hours. It’s usually the first, but it’s worth checking since you could end up doubling or halving your dosage.
- Food and drink. Many drugs work faster and stronger on an empty stomach, but sometimes you want to slow things down. Then there’s alcohol, which doesn’t mix well with a lot of drugs and can be downright deadly with some. Caffeine can also cause some problems, although it isn’t nearly as dangerous, and even some foods can react negatively with some drugs. Either way, you should definitely know what to avoid before you start taking a medication.
- Other medications. Your physician should know what other medications you’re taking regularly, including over-the-counter drugs. A bad reaction could mean nothing will happen or something bad will happen, and your doctor should know about the most common complications.
- Dosage mistakes. If you forget to take your pills or you take one late, do you move back the entire schedule or can you afford to take one early later? And if you’re allowed to take pills “as needed,” how often can you take them safely?
Something else you should know is how much your medication will cost you, although that can change based on your health plan and whether you use a USA Rx pharmacy discount card. Signing up for our card is free and easy, and it’ll get you up to 75 percent discounts on prescription drugs in almost every pharmacy in America. Not only that, but you’re free to use either our card or your insurance copay no matter which one costs less. If you’d like more information, you can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give our toll-free number a call at 888-277-3911.