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Questions to Ask Your Pharmacist or Doctor about Medications

Peer Reviewed

It's essential to have clear communication with your doctor and pharmacist when it comes to taking drugs and medications. The greater the understanding of your treatment, the greater chance you have of relieving your back pain or neck pain.

Below is a list of common drugs and medications questions that you can ask your pharmacist. Your doctor may also be able to address some of your specific concerns

  • What is the name of the medication?
  • Is it brand name or generic?
  • If it is a brand name medication, is a generic alternative available?
  • If a generic alternative is available, is it as effective as its brand name counterpart?
  • How and when should I take the medication?
  • How much do I take each time?
  • How long will I be taking the medication?
  • How long will it take to feel the effects of the medication?
  • How will I know if the medication is not working?
  • What is the purpose of my medication? How will it help my condition?
  • What happens if I miss a dose?
  • Are there any side effects from the medication?
  • What precautions should I take to prevent side effects?
  • Can the medication cause any allergic reactions?
  • Are there any risks to taking the medication?
  • Do I need to avoid certain activities, foods, or drinks while taking the medication?
  • Can the medication interact with other medications I'm currently taking (both prescription and over-the-counter)?
  • Is the medication safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

You might feel uncomfortable or scared when talking to your doctor or pharmacist, but you shouldn't feel that way. You're not imposing on anyone with your questions. Doctors and pharmacists are there to help you answer your questions.

If you can't shake those anxious feelings, discuss your questions or concerns with a nurse or someone else who is qualified to get you the right information. You should have a confident understanding of what you need to do to relieve your pain.

When it comes to your health, you can't ask too many questions. Medications can be helpful in reducing your pain, but starting a new regimen can be daunting.

Make sure you talk to your doctor or pharmacist about your concerns. A solid understanding of your treatment is one of the best defenses against back pain and neck pain.

Updated on: 10/13/10
Jason M. Highsmith, MD
This article was reviewed by Jason M. Highsmith, MD.
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