Making the most of your medicines
Most of us will take medicines at some point in our lives. For some of us this may be for a short period (days, months or a few years), for others medicines may be needed for the rest of our lives. Medicines can be used to stop us getting ill, help us stay healthy, control our conditions or cure an illness. But using them sometimes isn’t easy.
You need to:
– Take them at the right times and in the right way
– Look out for side effects or for signs that you aren’t getting any better (or getting worse)
– If you need medicines regularly make sure you always have enough of your medicines.
This can take time and commitment especially if you are taking many different medicines. Understanding what your medicines are for, how they work, when and how to take them and why they should be taken as prescribed can help to make sure you get the best results from medicines.
Here are some things that you can do to make the most of your medicines.
What can you do?
When you or someone you care for is prescribed a medicine here are some questions that you might want to ask your doctor, pharmacist, nurse or other health professional.
It may help to print these questions and take them with you next time you see your health professional. (Click here to Download and Print the Questions)
Questions to ask about your medicines:
1- What am I taking this medicine for?
2- Does this new prescription mean I should stop taking any other medicines?
3- How and when should I take my medicine?
4- How long should I take my medicine for?
5- When will it start working? How can I tell if it’s working?
6- Are there any foods, drinks, or other medicines to avoid while I’m taking this medicine?
7- What are the potential side-effects? What should I do if I think I have a side-effect?
8- What should I do if I miss a dose?
9- How do I get more of this medicine if it runs out?
10- Who should I talk to if I want any further help when taking this medicine?