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Questions about your medicines


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When you are in hospital, the doctors might make some changes to your usual medicines. For example, they might change the amount you take (the dose), or you might start taking new medicines.

With changes, it is normal to have some questions about your medicines.

You might have questions about your medicines, even if no changes have been made. Please tell the team looking after you about any questions or concerns you have.

Questions you can ask

This page lists some of the questions you might want to ask. You might think of some questions to ask that are not on this page.

Questions about what your medicines do

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

Questions about using your medicines

  • How often should I take the medicine?
  • Do I have to take the medicine with food?
  • How long will 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?

Questions about side effects of your medicine

  • Does the medicine have any side effects?
  • What are the risks of the side effects?
  • What should I do if I get any side effects?

Questions about 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 I am taking?
  • Will the medicine make me feel sleepy?
  • Will the medicine affect my sex life?

Who can answer your questions

Most members of the team looking after you (for example, your doctor or nurse) will be able to answer your questions. If you want to speak to your pharmacist, please let your nurse know. 

You might find it helpful to look through the list of questions before the pharmacist’s next visit, and write down any more questions you have.

Please let your pharmacist know if you would like to have a member of your family with you when you speak to them.

Asking questions when you are at home

If you have any questions or concerns about your medicines after you leave hospital, please call our pharmacy medicines helpline on 020 7188 8748, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.


Ref number: 2806/VER4

Date published: July 2018 | Review date: July 2021

© 2018 Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

A list of sources is available on request

Where next?

 Contact us

If you have any questions or concerns about your medicines, please call our pharmacy medicines helpline.

Phone: 020 7188 8748, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm


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