Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Smart Decisions: Know Your Options

Font Size

Decisions About Medicines

See a list of Decision Points about medicines. Decision Points are designed to guide you through key health decisions, combining medical information with your personal values to make a wise health decision.

The first rule of medicines is to know why you need each medicine before you use it.

Learn the facts

  • What is the name of the medicine, and why do you need it?
  • How long does it take to work?
  • How long will you need to take it?
  • How and when do you take it (for example, with food or on an empty stomach)?
  • Are there nondrug options?

Use this medicine information form(What is a PDF document?) to help you.

Consider the risks and benefits

  • How much will this medicine help?
  • Are there side effects or other risks?
  • Could this medicine interact with other medicines or herbal supplements that you currently take?

Ask about costs

  • How much does the medicine cost?
  • Is a generic form of the medicine available and appropriate for you?
  • Is there a similar medicine that will work almost as well and cost less?
  • Can you start with a prescription for a few days to make sure the medicine agrees with you?

Talk to your doctor

  • What are your concerns about the medicine?
  • What do you expect the medicine to do? Are your expectations realistic?
  • What other prescription and nonprescription medicines are you taking?
  • Do you want to try the medicine or try other ways of treating the problem?

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

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.
Remember your finger
Are You Getting More Forgetful?
fruit drinks
Eat these to think better.
No gym workout
Moves to help control blood sugar.
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?
Epinephrine Injection using Auto-Injector Syringe
Life-threatening triggers.
woman biting a big ice cube
Habits that wreck your teeth.
pacemaker next to xray
Treatment options.
caregiver with parent
10 tips for daily life.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.