Caribbean L 36 ife, January 17-23, 2020
Though few people may want to
take medicine each day, prescription
drugs prolong lives and help
people manage conditions that might
otherwise make it diffi cult to live life
to the fullest.
A 2017 survey from Consumer Reports
found that 55 percent of people
living in the United States take a prescription
medicine. The survey also
found that those who take prescription
drugs use an average of four such
medications. That fi gure might alarm
some people, especially aging men and
women whose bodies might be more
susceptible to conditions that are often
treated with medication.
There’s no denying that prescription
drugs can save lives. But men and
women have a right to explore their
options when doctors prescribe them
medications, and asking the right
questions when doctors suggest medication
can help men and women decide
if prescription medicine is their best
To help men and women make the
best decisions regarding their healthcare,
the National Institute on Aging
advises people to ask their physicians
these questions when being prescribed
a new medicine.
• What is the name of the medicine,
and why am I taking it?
• Which medical condition does this
• How many times a day should I
take the medicine, and at what times
should I take it?
• If the prescription instructions say
the medicine must be taken “four times
a day,” does that mean four times in
24 hours or four times during the daytime?
• How much medicine should I take?
• Should I take the medicine on its
own or with food? Should I avoid certain
foods and beverages when taking
• How long will it take this medicine
• Will this medicine cause problems
if I am taking other medicines?
• Can I safely operate a motor vehicle
while taking this medication?
• What does “as needed” mean?
• When should I stop taking the medicine?
• What should I do if I forget to take
my medicine, ?
• Can I expect any side effects? What
should I do if I have a problem?
• Will I need a refi ll, and how do I arrange
When discussing medications with
a physician, it’s imperative that men
and women be forthcoming about any
other medicines they might be taking
under the guidance of other doctors. In
addition, men and women should tell
their physicians about any over-thecounter
medicines or vitamins and supplements
they are taking. Sharing such
information can prevent potentially serious
complications from arising.
Medicine saves lives every day.
Smart patients can help medicine do
its job by learning about their medications
and discussing them openly and
honestly with their physicians.
Questions to ask when your doctor
prescribes a new medicine