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What you should discuss with your doctor or pharmacist about your medicines

We encourage you to talk to your health care team about the medicines you are being offered. By talking to your health care team, you will be able to make the best choice for you. See My Medicine, My Choice brochure (PDF 202KB) for some tips on what you can talk about.

Things you should tell your doctor or pharmacist

You should tell your doctor or pharmacist if:

  • you have started taking any new medicines since your last visit (including over the counter or complementary medicines)
  • the dosage of any of your medicines has changed
  • you have experienced any adverse-effects or noticed any unusual side-effects since you started taking a medicine.

Questions to ask when you are prescribed or recommended a new medicine

If you are prescribed or recommended a new medicine by your doctor or pharmacist, the following questions may help you to understand the medicine  so that you can make good decisions affecting your health:

  • Why have I been prescribed/recommended this medicine?
  • How does the medicine work?
    • What is the active ingredient?
    • What are the benefits of taking the medicine?
    • What side effects might I experience?
  • What other treatment options are there?
  • Will this medicine be affected by any other medicines, foods or drinks?
  • How should I take the medicine?
    • How much of the medicine should I take?
    • How often should I take the medicine?
    • How long should I keep taking the medicine?
  • How should I store the medicine?
    • Does it have any special storage requirements?
    • How long can I keep the medicine before it expires?
  • Is there any other information I should know about this medicine?

If you think of something you forgot to ask about your medicine, write it down and ask your doctor or pharmacist next time you visit them.

Where can I get further information?

You may also find the answers to some of these questions below:

 

Resources

Making wise choices about medicines, NPS MedicineWise

Personal decision guide for medicines, NPS MedicineWise

Find the active ingredient, NPS MedicineWise

Brand choices, NPS MedicineWise

Keep track of your medicines, NPS MedicineWise

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