Learning more about medications will help you make an informed decision before choosing to take them.
Seven Questions Worth Asking
- What is the lowest effective dose? Every body is different. Dosage is based on the average. Your body may require more or less than the average dose based on your metabolism. The more you consume, the more likely you are to experience the side effects. Start slow and increase the dose if necessary.
- Can this drug cause dependency or a rebound effect? Find out if your body can become dependent on the drug. It only takes two to three days for your body to become dependent on a heartburn drug. When the medicine stops, the condition may rebound even worse. You can either become dependent on the drug or tough it out until your body figures out it needs to handle that condition on its own.
- What is the shortest amount of time you need to be on this drug? Medication is hard on your liver and kidneys. The fewer medications you take in your lifetime, the easier it will be on your organs. Find out if you can stop the drug cold turkey or if you have to wean yourself off of it. Take all of your prescriptions with you for your annual exams. You may not need to take everything now.
- What are the particular side effects? Pay attention to low libido, weight gain, liver and kidney issues.
- What if you are pregnant, plan to get pregnant or are nursing? Exposure to medication can affect your child. Look to alternative medicine. Pregnant women are not included in drug trials so all of the side effects are not known. Some medications are too important to your health to discontinue during this time.
- How do other things interact with the drug? Sugar, alcohol and caffeine may exaggerate the effectiveness.
- Can you or should you consider lifestyle changes instead of taking this medication? Sleep, nutrition, fitness and other changes may address your condition.