Click here to skip navigation
An official website of the United States Government.

Frequently Asked Questions Insurance

What questions should I ask my doctor or pharmacist about any medicine prescribed or recommended for me? (Courtesy of the National Council on Patient Information and Education)

Every day, millions of Americans rely on medications to feel better and get well, but it is not always easy to take them correctly. Not taking medications properly can prevent you from getting well as fast as you can. Also, taking medicine with certain foods, alcohol, dietary/herbal supplements, or other medicines might cause a dangerous reaction, or it might stop your medicine from working as well as it should. Here are some questions that can help you get the information you need to use your medicines properly. If the answers seem complicated or confusing, ask again!

  1. What is the name of the medicine and what is it supposed to do? Is this the brand name or the generic name?
  2. How and when do I take it -- and for how long?
  3. What foods, drinks, other medicines, dietary supplements, or activities should I avoid while taking this medicine?
  4. When should I expect the medicine to begin to work, and how will I know if it is working? Are there any tests required with this medicine (for example, to check liver or kidney function)?
  5. Are there any side effects, what are they, and what do I do if they occur?
  6. Will this medicine work safely with the other prescription and nonprescription medicines I am taking?
  7. Can I get a refill? When?
  8. How should I store this medicine?
  9. Is there any written information available about the medicine? Is it available in large print or a language other than English?

Control Panel

Unexpected Error

There was an unexpected error when performing your action.

Your error has been logged and the appropriate people notified. You may close this message and try your command again, perhaps after refreshing the page. If you continue to experience issues, please notify the site administrator.