It's important to know as much as possible about the
medicines you're taking. Here are some examples of questions you might ask your
doctor or pharmacist:
What can you tell me about this medicine?
How will I know that this medicine is working?
How long will it take before I notice anything?
Will I need any
tests while I'm on this medicine?
Is an older or less expensive
generic version available? Will it work for me?
Why am I taking it?
Why is this the right medicine for me?
Is there something I can do instead of taking this medicine?
Is there a medicine that could be better for someone my age? For a
man or woman?
When and how do I take it?
How long will I have to take it? What if I
begin to feel better?
When do I take it (early, late, morning,
evening, before bed, once a day, other instructions)?
What if I
miss a dose? Do I take two doses the next time? Do I take the missed dose right
What about food and drink?
Do I take this medicine with or without food or
water? Can I use grapefruit juice? Should I avoid any food or drink when I take
How long before or after eating do I take it? Does it matter?
Is it okay to drink alcohol while I'm taking this medicine?
What about side effects and interactions?
What side effects can I expect, and how soon
might they appear?
Will they go away on their own? How long will
it take? Can I do anything to prevent or manage them?
I call about side effects?
Do any of my medicines cause a bad
reaction with another one?
What else do I need to know?
Can I take this medicine at the same time as
How do I store this medicine? Do I need to put it
in the refrigerator?
If I have trouble swallowing, can I split the
pill or crush it in food or drink?
Here are some forms that can help you keep track of what medicines you take and when to take them. You can also keep track of how well your medicines are working. Take these with you when you talk to your doctor about new and existing medicines.
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
March 09, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this