You are not feeling well or maybe it’s just a routine checkup. You go into your doctor’s office, exchange
pleasantries and then they check you out. Either that same day or in the upcoming weeks you are
notified that your doctor wants you on a new medication. This usually comes with some explanation,
but the truth is you are taking these meds on 100% trust of your physician.
It’s good to have that kind of trust in them but if you have questions or doubts, you should voice them.
Unfortunately, people make the mistake of waiting or being hesitant or even afraid. They do not want to
ask dumb questions or figure there’s nothing to be concerned about. The fact is that it’s normal to want
to know what you are putting in your body and especially what effects or benefits it may have. There are
things you can do differently next time.
Ask Them Questions
It’s always a good idea to have questions written down before you go to the doctor. Of course, if they
assign you a new medication, you may not have questions prepared because of it being such short
notice. The key thing to remember here is that you should have some standard questions to ask them so
that you can get the information you need. On your list should be some standard questions if you are
given a new prescription.
Consider questions about what type of medication you’re taking, are they pills or something else, how to take it, when to take it, with or without food and more. These are standard but your doctor may want you to take them with instructions that are different from the pharmacy.
Keep in mind that many medications are now used for new ailments. For example, Cholestyramine is a
powdery substance that you mix with water or another liquid and drink to help lower your cholesterol.
The interesting thing is that it’s an effective medication for people who deal with IBS, especially if their
symptoms have anything to do with bile absorption. Medicine uses change and that is a big reason why
you want to get the facts as you get started taking them.
Speak With The Pharmacist
Your next stop is to speak with the pharmacist. Consider asking the same exact questions you asked
your doctor and any that you didn’t. These are the people who know these chemicals backwards and
forwards, they understand the side-effects, what patients are going through with them and more. This is
something that people overlook in the process, but the fact is that you have an amazing resource with
your pharmacist. Consider them when you have any questions and especially when it comes to taking
the medication. Some packages may say that you need to take the medication on an empty stomach.
But the pharmacist will tell you that’s not a good idea because of what they’ve heard patients go
through taking these meds.
Another thing to consider when you are talking to them about the medications are alternatives to the
meds, including generic options. See what they cost monthly with and without your insurance, see what
the common thinking is around the professionals when it comes to each option and what patients have
had to say about it. The more information you get the better and the truth is that people commit to
medical brands because they work. It’s that simple and if you have a medication that isn’t working, it could be anything and another manufacturer may be the answer to the problem. It’s something that you
should look into as you learn what to expect from these new meds.
Research The Medicine
You can also go online where you will have access to every bit of information around about these
prescriptions including prices at other pharmacies, reviews, basic information, scientific information,
other options you can use and so forth. You never want to base a medical decision based on what you
read online, especially if it’s a prescription medication. However, online resources are great to get the
information you need and then to speak with your doctor or the pharmacist or both. Consider speaking
with these professionals if you are able to because they already have a working knowledge of the
medications you are taking.
As you are looking at different sites for information, try to also consider the reason you are taking these
new medications and if there are other things you can do to assist them. For example, people who have
IBS and take the Cholestyramine also find that a change in their diet where they cut out eating large
amounts of raw vegetables or fatty foods can make a significant difference, along with taking the
medication. They can also offer their advice on how they take the meds, what they drink it with, if
they’ve had success and more. This gives you a better understanding of what to expect and if there are
ways to improve an ailment or condition aside from the medication or in addition to it.
If you are able to cut back on any medications you are currently taking without impairing yourself and
your ability to function, it’s worth considering. Many feel that they are overmedicated while others feel
that they need these meds to function and stay healthy. You cannot make these decisions based on
online resources because the truth is that your different as is your needs including your medical needs.
How can people not like pizza or going to the beach? Because we are all different and everyone likes
different things based on their preferences, interests, taste buds and genetics.
Learning what your body needs to be healthy begins with communication with your doctor. When they
give you a new medication to take, you do not have to immediately take it, especially if you have
questions. You should always trust the recommendations of medical professionals but at the end of the
day, you’re the one taking the meds and that means you have to make the decision for yourself.