With each new prescription, remember to:
- Carefully follow all of your doctor’s instructions.
- Talk with your doctor about medication cost concerns that might lead you to reduce or skip a dose, and ask about local and national resources for financial help.
- Finish all of the medication, even if you start to feel better.
- Keep taking the medication, even if you don’t notice an improvement in your symptoms right away.
- Contact your health care team if you start to feel worse while taking a medication or notice new symptoms.
Stay on the prescribed schedule if you want them to be as effective as possible. Remember to:
- Read the entire medication label on the container to make sure you take the right dose.
- Take your pills at the same time every day, such as first thing in the morning or with lunch.
- Use a chart, pill calendar, or your phone’s calendar reminders to set a schedule and track when you take your medication.
- Use a weekly pill case so you know whether you’ve taken each day’s medication.
- Ask family members or friends to remind you.
- Ask your doctor what to do if you miss or skip a dose.
Once you and your doctor decide on a treatment plan, ask these important questions about each prescribed medication:
- What’s the medication’s goal?
- Is there a certain time of day I should take the medication?
- Do I need to take this medication with food?
- Are there any foods, drinks, or other drugs that can change the strength or effectiveness of this medication?
- How long will I need to take this medication?
- Why is it important for me to follow a schedule while taking this medication?
- What should I do if I miss a dose?
- What are the common side effects of this medication?
- Can I crush my pills?
- What follow-up tests will I need to monitor the medication’s effectiveness?
- What should I do if I experience an unexpected side effect to the medication?