New Medicines: Questions to Ask the Doctor

New Medicines: Questions to Ask the Doctor

Topic Overview

Ask the following questions if your doctor recommends a new medicine for your health condition.

General questions

What is the name of the medicine?

Brand name (trade name):

Generic name (chemical name):

   

What will the medicine do (for example, decrease blood pressure)?

Why do I need this medicine?

Are there any other medicine or treatment options?

How much does the medicine cost?

Is a generic form of the medicine available and appropriate for me?

Can I start with a prescription for a few days to make sure the medicine agrees with me?

Questions about taking the medicine

How is the medicine taken (for example, orally [by mouth] or through a skin patch)?

What amount do I take each time (dose)?

How often should it be taken (for example, 3 times a day)? When?

Should I take it with or without food?

What should I avoid while taking it (for example, certain foods, activities, other medicines, or alcohol)?


Will it interact with other medicines I am currently taking or other medical conditions? Yes___ No __ If yes, what might occur?

What are the common side effects (those that do not usually cause problems)?


What side effects should I report if I experience them?


What do I do if I miss a dose?

How long will I need to take this medicine (days, weeks, months)?

How will I know that the medicine is helping?

What is the next step if this medicine doesn't work?

Reminders

  • Be sure you understand your doctor's instructions.
  • State any concerns you have about taking the medicine. For example, ask if "4 doses daily" means taking a dose every 6 hours around the clock or just during regular waking hours.

Credits

Current as of: February 11, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website, and its associated websites, is provided as a benefit to the local community, and the Internet community in general; it does not constitute medical advice. We try to provide quality information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this website and its associated sites. As medical advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each patient and healthcare is constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of a competent physician. Furthermore, in providing this service, Adventist HealthCare does not condone or support all of the content covered in this site. As an Adventist health care organization, Adventist HealthCare acts in accordance with the ethical and religious directives for Adventist health care services.

Find a Doctor

Find an Adventist HealthCare affiliated doctor by calling our FREE physician referral service at 800-642-0101 or by searching our online physician directory.

View Doctors

Set Your Location

Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.