If you’ve been prescribed a new medication, you might be feeling a mix of relief at having something to treat your health problem and apprehension about taking a new drug. You may have your fingers crossed as you swallow it. Taking a new medication requires you to be vigilant. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you begin with a new prescription.
Talking With Your Doctor
Whether you’re visiting your doctor in hopes of finding something to treat you or are already taking a new medication, communication is key. It’s important to be honest about any symptoms you have, even if you don’t think those symptoms are related. Whenever your doctor does prescribe something different for you, ask them what results you can expect and what potential side effects to look for. Most doctors will thoroughly explain why they have prescribed a particular medication, but if yours doesn’t and you aren’t entirely sure why you’ve been given a prescription, don’t be afraid to ask questions until you completely understand.
Watching for Side Effects
Of course, any time you take a new medication, it’s important to be vigilant when it comes to side effects. Usually, if a medication has a risk of major side effects, your doctor will inform you directly. Most reactions to a new medication are individual rather than an issue with the medication, but keeping track can help you notice something regardless of the cause. Side effects are rarely a result of defective drugs, but occasionally this does occur. If you experience side effects you’re concerned about, contact your doctor’s office for advice. This is especially true if you have a reaction that seems to be extreme in any way.
Understanding Drug Interactions
Drug interaction, or one drug you’re taking affecting the efficacy of another, is more common than many people think. In order to avoid a drug interaction, make sure you are honest and thorough when you tell your doctor what other medications you take. Your doctor can check to make sure that the new medication won’t cause any issues with what you’ve already been prescribed. Of course, sometimes doctors miss things, so you also can do some drug interaction research on your own. If your doctor somehow disagrees with your research, it may be a good idea to get a second medical opinion. When it comes to your well-being, it doesn’t hurt to have as many professional opinions as you can get or as many that make you feel comfortable. Especially when entering a new, major treatment plan with new medication, a second opinion can give you peace of mind.
Finding a medication that works for you sometimes takes a few tries, and while the process can be tiring, it’s important to continue communicating with your physician throughout. With some patience, you should be well on your way to feeling better and finding a medication regimen that works for you.
If you’re looking for a new treatment path, check out our article about eastern medicine here and talk to your doctor!