Making the Most of Your Medication

Most of us will take medicines at some point in our lives. For some of us this may be for a short period (days, months or a few years), for others medicines may be needed for the rest of our lives.  Medicines can be used to stop us getting ill, help us stay healthy, control our conditions or cure an illness. But using them sometimes isn’t always easy.  Understanding what your medicines are for, how they work, when and how to take them and why they should be taken as prescribed can help to make sure you get the best results from medicine. 

What can you do?

Here are some things that you can do to make the most of your medicines.  If you have any questions speak to your health professional or ask to be booked in for a medication review. Especially if:

You are thinking about stopping a medicine, or are not taking a medicine you have been prescribed.

For any reason you are finding it difficult to take a medicine as it was prescribed.

You are worried or concerned about side effects that you may be experiencing.

You don’t why you are taking a medicine.

Some questions you may want to ask the health care professional during a review or when starting a new medicine:

What am I taking this medicine for?

Does this new prescription mean I should stop taking any other medicines?

How and when should I take my medicine?

How long should I take my medicine for?

When will it start working? How can I tell if it’s working?

Are there any foods, drinks, or other medicines to avoid while I’m taking this medicine?

What are the potential side-effects? What should I do if I think I have a side-effect?

What should I do if I miss a dose?

How do I get more of this medicine if it runs out?

Who should I talk to if I want any further help when taking this medicine?