Smart Decisions: Know Your Options
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?
medicine information form to help you. (What is a PDF document?) 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
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
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