What Should You Ask Before Beginning New Medication?Friday, February 4. 2011
Often being diagnosed with an illness, of any type, can be overwhelming; especially with the average consultation, with your doctor taking only 12 minutes. The short consultation and shock can often make it difficult to remember what questions to ask; NPS has developed a checklist of what you should know before starting a new medicine.
Top 5 medicinewise questions to ask when thinking about starting or changing a medicine:
• Why do I need this medicine?
• What are my medicine and non-medicine options?
• What are the benefits and risks of my treatment options?
• Is this treatment option suitable for me?
• Where can I find trusted information?
Top 5 medicinewise questions to ask when you are taking or going to take a medicine:
• What is it for?
• What is the active ingredient?
• How do I take or use this medicine correctly?
• What are the possible side effects and what can I do about them?
• What should or shouldn’t I do while taking this medicine?
To find out more or to download a printable copy of these checklists off visit www.nps.org.au/medicinewise
Why is it important to ask these questions? A recent NPS survey found that 60% of participants had not asked their doctor or pharmacist any questions the last time they purchased a medicine.
NPS explained the importance of asking questions because “each year around 140,000 Australians are hospitalised due to medicine mishaps, many of which involve interactions between medicines and unwanted side-effects. These are often avoidable by being medicinewise – realising what is a medicine, knowing the active ingredient in your medicines and asking the right questions before taking a medicine.”