Medications: How To Make Smart Choices

Despite common belief, you can play a tremendous role in creating your treatment plan. By knowing your medical history, allergies, and budget, you will be able to work with the doctor to determine the necessary medicine to properly treat your condition. Asking the right questions about your prescribed medications will also help you make smart choices. Consider these important factors the next time you are discussing your medical treatment plan with your doctor.

Purpose
In general, people are more likely to take prescription medication if they thoroughly understand its importance. If taken regularly, many drugs have been associated with profound benefits, but they are not as effective when skipped. For example, you may increase the risk of heart disease or stroke if you forget to take some of your blood pressure pills. Since skipping medicine can adversely affect your health, consider asking your doctor “Why do I need this medicine?” Your doctor should consider the substantial health benefits as well as your personal risk factors when prescribing medication.

Side Effects
Very few medications are without side effects; therefore, you should consult with your doctor to determine which medications will blend seamlessly into your daily routine. While some drugs may result in frequent bathroom use, others might lead to tiredness or dizziness. Choosing a medication with the fewest side effects is especially important if you have a strenuous job. Fortunately, your doctor can help you select medications that are both tolerable and effective.

Interactions 
In order to avoid harmful interactions with other drugs, give your doctor a complete list of all the medications and dietary supplements that you are currently taking. Vitamins, minerals, and herbal products should also be included on the list. Some drugs such as ginkgo biloba can cause bleeding, so your will not prescribe a blood thinner while you are taking this type of medication.

Frequency 
Another important question to ask your doctor is “How often do I need to take each medication?” If you have difficulty remembering to take medicine several times a day, there may be a solution to this common problem. Because there are many medications that are sold in combinations, your doctor may be able to prescribe one pill instead of three different pills.

Cost
Even if you have health insurance, medication can be expensive. If price is a big concern, your doctor may be able to help you find a cheaper solution. Depending on your condition, your doctor can adjust the dose so that you only need to take a drug once a day instead of twice. Additionally, you may also save money on medication by asking for the top three choices when your doctor prescribes a new medication.

Most doctors are extremely happy when their patients are active participants in their treatment plan as the collaboration will help them prescribe the most effective medication. In most cases, there are solutions to every concern that you might encounter while taking medication. Don’t forget to consult with your doctor before discontinuing any medication.