What You Should Know About Your Medications
Why You Should Take Them And Possible Side Effects
Knowing what medications you take, the dosage, why you take them and the possible side effects are very important. When your doctor prescribes a new medication, ask the following questions:
- What is the name of the medication?
- What dose will I take?
- Why do I need this medication?
- What side effects might I experience?
It is also important to keep an updated record of your medical information. This record should include the following:
- Names and phone numbers of all your healthcare providers
- Names and phone numbers of all your pharmacies/pharmacists
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications and the dosage of each one
- Allergies and resulting reactions
- Personal and family medical history
- Major surgeries or illnesses including dates, if possible
- Immunizations, screenings and other procedures including dates, if possible
Medication Side Effects
There are times that side effects occur when taking medication. Some side effects are minor and of little concern, while others may be severe requiring medical attention.
Although many side effects are minor and not harmful, it is important to let your doctor know, as the side effect may be a sign of danger or that the medication is not working properly. Your doctor may decide to try a different medication or alter the dose of your current one to eliminate or reduce the side effect you are experiencing.
It is important that you know what side effects may accompany your medications and what you should do if you experience these side effects. Side effects are one of the main reasons people stop taking medications. However, your current medical condition requires medication and therefore you need to understand and discuss your side effects to maintain optimal health.
Please discuss with your doctor or nurse what side effects you might experience from the medications you are taking. If you have further questions, you can request to speak to a pharmacist.
Taking your medications as prescribed is very important and can reduce your chance of being readmitted to the hospital.
Take Your Medication
Do you have trouble remembering to take your medications? Here are a few tips to help you remember:
- If you take your medication in the morning, store it near the coffee pot or tea cup or by your keys if you work every day.
- If you take your medication at bedtime, store medications on your nightstand or next to the television remote if you watch television before bed.
- If you take your medication with food, keep it on the kitchen counter or put a reminder note on the refrigerator.
- If you take your medication on an empty stomach, think about things you do on an empty stomach–such as exercise–and keep your medication near your gym bag.
- If you have to take your medication one-half hour to an hour before breakfast, then store medications on your nightstand so you will be reminded before you begin getting ready for the day.
REMEMBER to always keep medications out of the reach of children.
Please speak to your doctor or nurse if you have questions about your medications. A member of our Pharmacy Department is also available to answer any questions. Ask your nurse to arrange a time for you and a Pharmacy representative.