Taking an Active Role in Your Medicines

Taking an Active Role in Your Medicines

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Taking an Active Role in Your Medicines

Take the time to learn about your medicine. For instance, why are you taking it? What does it do? Work with your doctor or other health care providers to get the answers you need.

Older woman is talking with a female pharmacist about a bottle of pills.


Ask Questions About Your Medicine

  • What is the name of the medicine?

  • Why do I need to take it? When should I take it?

  • How should I take it: with water? with food? on an empty stomach?

  • How much do I take?

  • What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • What side effects could it cause and which ones should I call the doctor about?

  • Are there any foods or medicines I should avoid while taking this medicine?

  • Will this drug change how my other medications work?

Name of medicine:

List of medications

Taken for:




Time(s) to take it:


Take an Active Role

  • Fill all your prescriptions at the same pharmacy. This keeps your medicine history in one place.

  • Talk to the pharmacist. Make sure you understand how to take each medicine. Ask for a fact sheet about each one.

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the prescription and over-the-counter medicines you take. This includes vitamins, nutrition or health supplements, alcohol or other drugs, and herbal remedies.

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you have any medical conditions or allergies to any medicine or food, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

  • Keep a list of all your medicines. Use the sample to the right as a guide for the type of information needed.