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Medication Questions: Get the Facts

Man looking at Rx packages

Whether you were prescribed a new medication or have been taking them for some time, asking questions and providing information to your doctor can improve your care. Getting the facts about your medications and over-the-counter drugs can help prevent unintended consequences. Knowing ahead of time the risks, side effects, and feelings, such as drowsiness, associated with medication can prepare and help you keep a close watch on potential changes in your body.

The next time you visit the doctor's office, consider asking the following recommended questions:


  • How much is the co-pay for this medication?

  • How and when should I use the medication?

  • How is this medication going to help me?

  • How much do I use?

  • How long should I use it?

  • How should I expect to feel?


  • Are there refills?

  • Are there any special directions for using the medication?


  • What should I do if I run out and there are no refills?

  • What should I do if I forget to take the medication or I use too much?

  • What should I do if I get any side effects?

  • Should I avoid any other medications, supplements, drinks, foods, activities, or other things while on this medication?

  • Is there anything I should watch for, like allergic reactions or side effects?


  • Can I get it sent to me or can I pick it up here or can I have the prescription sent to an outside pharmacy (like Walmart, CVS, etc)?

  • Can I stop using the medication or use less if I feel better?


  • Will the medication take the place of anything else I am using?

  • When will the medication start working?

  • Will I need any tests to check the medication's effects (blood tests, x-rays, other)? When will I need those?


  • Do I need to keep this medication in the refrigerator?


  • Is there patient information for this medication?

Read More

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Ask a Pharmacist: Get Answers to your VA Pharmacy Questions

Updated January 28, 2019