Avoid Overdose by Understanding Your Prescription

Avoid Overdose by Understanding Your Prescription

When you are prescribed a medication, it is important that you understand what you are being prescribed, for what reason, and how to take it. Many people head off to the pharmacy without fully understanding these factors. We realize that doctors are medical professionals who try to relieve your symptoms and help your body maintain a balanced health. However, it is your responsibility to make sure that you understand your medications.

If you do not understand everything about your medication, do not hesitate to talk to your doctor about it further. You may want to ask some of the following questions to understand your medication and dosage:

  • What is the name of the prescription?
  • What is this drug prescribed to treat?
  • What other conditions, besides the one I have, does this drug treat?
  • How much of a dose are you giving me? Is each pill equivalent to one dose or how many pills do I have to take at each time to achieve the dose you want me to take?
  • How often am I supposed to take this medication? Do I need to take it on a full or empty stomach? Do I need to drink plenty of water when I take this medication? Should I take it before bedtime, when I first wake up, or with meals?
  • Can you explain if this medication will have any reaction to the other medications I am taking? (Be sure to review each medication with your doctor, one at a time, to ensure that you are not going to have any contraindications. Also, be sure to tell your doctor about any vitamins, supplements, or herbal remedies that you are taking to ensure that your medication is safe to use with them.)
  • What are the side effects of this medication? How would you suggest I counteract these side effects? If I get a side effect, should I contact you immediately or is there a specific set of side effects that I would need to experience before I contact you?

Who Can Help Me Understand My Prescription?

Whether the doctor hands you a slip of paper or electronically files your prescription with a pharmacist, you want to take things a step further. Ask your doctor to review the prescription with you, especially as most doctors used abbreviations when completing a prescription. While the pharmacist may completely understand what the doctor is requesting, you need to understand it as well. Write down what your doctor tells you about the prescription so that you can confirm that with what the pharmacist gives you. When you go to pick up your prescription, take a moment to speak directly with the pharmacist and review the prescription with her to ensure that it is accurate. Also, ask your pharmacist’s opinion about the medication; especially if your pharmacist has maintained your medication history.

Help for Prescription Drug Addiction

To reduce the risk of abuse or addiction, be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully when you are taking a prescribed drug. Should you find that you are abusing the drug and may be heading towards addiction, you need to seek help immediately. While recovery is difficult, it is possible and we can help, so please call our toll-free helpline today. We are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about prescription drug addiction and detox programs. We are here to help.