How to Get Maximum Medication Benefits

Odds are that as a person ages, he will need to take medications and the number of the medications may increase as the age increases.  Having a thorough understanding of medications can help to maximize the benefit while avoiding side effects or additional problems.  Be sure to ask your pharmacist the following questions:

  1. What is the medicine supposed to do?
  • Understand when the desired effects will occur and be sure to contact your doctor if it is not working.
  • How long will it take for it to start working?
  1. How should I use the medicine?
  • Know whether to take on an empty stomach or with meals
  • Special instructions (Ex/ rinsing your mouth after a steroid inhaler to avoid thrush and hoarseness)
  • Avoiding certain foods or alcohol
    • Ex/ Grapefruit juice can cause too much or too little of a drug to enter your body (Some statins to lower cholesterol, blood pressure, antiarrhythmics, antihistamines)
  1. What side effects should I watch for?
  • Know what to do if they occur and how to lessen the side effects (Ex/ eating with NSAIDS to avoid stomach problems)
  1. Is this medication safe to take with my other medications?
  • Are there any interactions that would contraindicate taking them together
  • Be sure to inform the doctor of your supplements as well (Drug interaction checker)