Answers To Your Questions About Prescription Medicine
By Pfizer Medical Team
| Oct 2, 2013
Have you ever wanted to ask a question about your medicine? But maybe you thought it was a silly question, not worth bothering your doctor or pharmacist about? Below, our medical team has answered some of the most common questions people have about taking their medicine.
Q: I’m experiencing a symptom that I think may be caused by my medicine. Can I take less?
A: You should never change the amount of medicine you are taking unless you are instructed to do so by your healthcare provider. If you think you are experiencing a symptom caused by your medication it is important to contact your doctor right away. Your doctor can then determine whether the dosage of your medicine needs to be changed.
If you’re having a problem with the side effects of a medication, call your healthcare provider. He or she can tell you if there is a simple way to avoid that problem.
If you think you’re experiencing an adverse event, you should contact your healthcare provider right away and then report it to FDA MedWatch.
Q: My prescription medicine is not making me feel better. Can I take more?
A: Never change how much medicine you take unless you are asked to do so by your healthcare provider. Medicines do not always work the same for everyone, so tell your healthcare provider if you are not feeling better.
Q: I ran out of refills. Can I stop taking my medicine?
A: Only your healthcare provider can tell you if you no longer need to take a medicine. If you do need more medicine, your healthcare provider may need to see you first to write you a new prescription.
Q: I feel better. Do I still need to take my medicine?
A: You should not stop taking a prescription medicine before your healthcare provider wants you to stop. You may not get well as soon as you could or you might not stay well if you stop your medicine too early.
Q: I don’t feel sick when I forget to take my medicine. Does this mean I don’t really need it?
A: Not necessarily. Many illnesses do not always have symptoms. Some examples are high blood pressure, early glaucoma, and high cholesterol. In fact, if you have one of these conditions, you might not have even known about it until your healthcare provider told you. That means if you miss a dose of your medicine, you might not feel any different. Still, you do need the medicine your healthcare provider prescribed.
If you do not take care of these conditions, you may have more health problems in the future. Untreated high blood pressure can damage your heart, eyes, and kidneys, for example. Or if you do not take medicine to control glaucoma, your eyesight may get worse. So always talk with your healthcare provider before you stop taking your medicine.
Q: What should I do if I forget to take my medicine?
A: For each medicine you are prescribed, it is important that you talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist about what to do if you miss a dose. Make sure you know what to do if you forget to take your medicine.
Q: How long can I save medicine in case I need to take it again later?
You should never save medicine unless you have discussed it with your doctor. Even though you think you have the same illness as before, it may be different. This time, the old medicine might not be the best one for you. Only your healthcare provider can decide which medicine you should take.
Q: My medication recently expired. Can I still take it?
A: No. Medicines have expiration dates on their labels for a reason. Be sure to check the date and if it has passed, you should not take the medicine.
After reading this article, how likely are you to speak with your healthcare provider about the appropriate ways to take your prescription medications?