Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Questions to ask your doctor about that prescription

When your doctor, physician's assistant, or nurse practitioner writes you a prescription for a drug, ask a few questions before you leave the office.

1.  What is the name of the drug or medication you are prescribing for me?
2.  Is that a brand name or the name of a generic equivalent?
3.  If it is a brand name, ask, What are the generic forms of this drug, if any?
4.  Why are you prescribing this drug for me?
5.  What is the active ingredient in this drug?
6.  Is this active ingredient available "over-the-counter" at a lower dose in the drugstore?
7.  If "Yes", ask: Is the over-the-counter drug just as good for me as the prescription version?
8.  What are the possible side effects of this drug?
9.  What is the cost of this prescription drug?
10.  How long do I need to take this drug?
11.  Can this drug be habit-forming?

Before you get your prescription filled, ask your pharmacist whether this is an appropriate drug for your diagnosis and whether this drug would have negative interaction with other over the counter or prescription medications or supplements you are taking. Ask the pharmacist also whether there is a way to get this prescription at a lower out-of-pocket cost to you.

That's a lot of work. But each of us needs to be in control of our health, rather than depending entirely on medical professionals to do all the work on our behalf.

Do you have anything you want to add or remove from this list? Any story to tell about a prescription? 

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