Communicating With Your Health Care Provider - What Questions to Ask

Be sure you know...

  • What dosage(s) of medication should be taken, and what time(s) of day, and what to do if you forget to take your medication.
  • If your medication needs to be stopped for any reason, how you should go about it.  (Never stop taking your medication without first talking to your doctor.)
  • Whether there is a generic form of your medication available and if it would be right for you.
  • How often you will need to see your doctor and how long your appointments will take.
  • How to change your dosage, if this is to be done before your next visit.
  • If psychotherapy is recommended as part of your treatment, and what type.
  • The possible side effects of your medication(s) and what you should do if you experience a troublesome side effect.
  • If there are things you can do to improve your response to treatment such as change your diet, physical activity or sleep patterns.
  • How you can reach your doctor in an emergency.
  • What alternatives exist if your current medication isn't helpful - what your next step will be.
  • the risks associated with your treatment and how you can recognize problems when they occur
  • The risks involved if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant or are nursing.

Play an active role in finding your treatment and managing your illness.  No one knows better than you do how you are feeling and how your symptoms or the events in your life are affecting you.  Never be afraid to get a second opinion if you don't feel your treatment is working as well as it should.