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- What is the drug used for?
- How does the drug work?
- How should the drug be taken?
- What should you do if you miss a dose?
- What are the drug's side effects?
- What substances interact with the drug?
- What should you expect the drug to do?
- How should the drug be stored?
- How should unused drugs be disposed of?
- Should you use a generic version of the drug?
- What laboratory tests should be done to monitor the effects of the drug?
- Who is the drug manufacturer?
What substances interact with the drug?
Interactions with drugs are common and they can cause side effects or reduce the beneficial effect of the drug. Sometimes, the interaction may promote a beneficial effect. Knowing which interacting agents to avoid while taking a drug (for example, food and herbal drugs) will prevent failure of therapy and side effects. It is a good idea to let your pharmacist and all health-care professionals know the drugs you are taking so potential drug interactions can be avoided. Also ask about alternative treatments and how effective they are.
What should you expect the drug to do?
Some drugs cure the condition for which they are prescribed while other drugs provide only relief from symptoms. Some drugs provide an immediate benefit while other drugs require more time to be effective. To determine whether the drug is working as intended, it is important to know the expected result and how long it will take to see that result.
Quick GuidePrescription Drug Abuse: Know The Warning Signs
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.