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New Prescriptions


WebMD Magazine - Feature

Q: What should I expect to be told about any newly prescribed medication?

A: When it comes to medication, what you don’t know can definitely hurt you. Almost half of all Americans regularly take at least one prescription drug, and half of older patients take three or more, according to a report released in by the National Center on Health Statistics. But doctors don’t always communicate critical information about the drugs they prescribe. And prescription drug misuse is a growing problem, contributing to thousands of deaths each year.

Recommended Related to Drugs and Herbs

Questions for the Doctor About Your New Prescription

What is the prescription? Why do I need this drug? What will this drug do for me? How much do I take, how often, and for how long? Does it matter what time of day I take this drug? What side effects should I watch for? What should I do if I have a bad reaction? How will this drug interact with other prescription or over-the-counter drugs I am taking? How will this drug interact with vitamins, herbal supplements, or foods? If I feel better before I finish the prescr...

Read the Questions for the Doctor About Your New Prescription article > >

According to recommendations from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, always ask:

• The name of the medication, and whether the drug is a trade medication or generic

• Why the drug is being prescribed

• How, when, and how long to take the medication

• The drug’s possible adverse side effects and what to do if they occur

• When to expect the medication to work, and how to tell if it is working

• If any foods, herbal supplements, and other medications should be avoided while taking the drug

Be informed before you take a new drug.

Louise Chang, MD, WebMD Medical Editor

Reviewed on January 01, 2007

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