Questions about your medicines

Medicines and how to manage them

You are likely to have some questions about your medicines if:

  • you've been prescribed a new medicine
  • the amount that you take (the dose) has changed

Even if the doctors do not make any changes, you might still have questions about your medicines.

Who you can talk to about your medicines

When you're in hospital, most members of the team looking after you can answer your questions. If you want to speak to a pharmacist, please tell your nurse.

You might find it helpful to look at our suggested list of questions before the pharmacist's next visit. You can write down any more questions that you might have. Tell the pharmacist if you'd like to have a family member or carer with you when you speak to them.

You can also get support from a GP, your practice pharmacist, or your local pharmacy.

Questions to ask about medicines

What your medicine does

  • What is the medicine for?
  • How does the medicine work?
  • How long does it take for the medicine to start working?
  • How can I tell if the medicine is not working?

Taking your medicine

  • How often should I take the medicine?
  • When should I take the medicine?
  • Do I have to take the medicine with food?
  • How long do I need to take the medicine for?
  • What should I do if I forget to take a dose?
  • How do I get more of the medicine?

Side effects of your medicine

  • Does the medicine have any side effects?
  • Can the side effects cause complications?
  • What should I do if I get any side effects?

How your medicine affects everyday life

  • Can I drink alcohol while taking the medicine?
  • Is my new medicine safe to use with other medicines or supplements that I take?
  • Will the medicine make me feel sleepy?
  • Will the medicine affect my sex life?
  • Can I drive while taking this medicine?

Resource number: 5319
Last reviewed: September 2022
Next review: September 2025

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