When my doctor prescribes a medication for me, what should I ask him or her?

Make sure you ask your doctor all of the following when he or she prescribes a new medication for you:

  • What is this drug called, and how strong is it?
  • What is it meant to treat?
  • At what time of the day do I need to take it, and how do I do so?
  • What are the signs that the medication is working?
  • Will I need blood tests or other monitoring to ensure the medication is working properly?
  • What kind of side effects come with this medication? What should I do if I experience them?
  • How long will I be on this medication?
  • Will this medication badly react with my other medications or any vitamins I am taking?
  • Should I take this medication with food or without it? Are there any foods I should avoid?
  • Approximately how much will this medication cost? Is there a lower-cost alternative?