Skip to content
    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    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

    Off-Label Drug Use: What You Need to Know

    The next time your doctor writes you a prescription, consider this: The medication may not be approved for your specific condition or age group. But you probably shouldn't call the medical board. The practice, called "off-label" prescribing, is entirely legal and very common. More than one in five outpatient prescriptions written in the U.S. are for off-label therapies. "Off-label" means the medication is being used in a manner not specified in the FDA's approved packaging label, or insert. Every...

    Read the Off-Label Drug Use: What You Need to Know 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

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    Balding man in mirror
    Treatments & solutions.
    No gym workout
    Moves to help control blood sugar.
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    acupuncture needle on shoulder
    10 tips to look and feel good.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    woman biting a big ice cube
    Habits that wreck your teeth.
    pacemaker next to xray
    Treatment options.
    Pink badge on woman chest to support breat cancer
    Myths and facts.

    Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

    It's nothing to sneeze at.

    Loading ...

    Sending your email...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Women's Health Newsletter

    Find out what women really need.