Communicating With Your Health Care Provider

Questions to Ask

  • What's the name of my medication and how will it help me?
  • What dosage(s) of medication do I need to take, what time(s) of day should I take them, and what should I do if I forget to take my medication?
  • If my medication needs to be stopped for any reason, how should I go about it? (Never stop taking your medication without first talking to your doctor.)
  • Is there a generic form of my medication available? Would it be right for me?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor and how long will appointments take?
  • How do I change my dosage, if this is to be done before my next visit?
  • Is psychotherapy recommended as part of my treatment? What type?
  • What are the possible side effects of my medication(s)? What should I do if I experience a troublesome side effect?
  • Is there anything I can do to improve my response to treatment, such as changing my diet, physical activity, or sleep patterns?
  • How can I reach my doctor in an emergency?
  • What alternatives exist if my current medication isn't helpful? What will my next step be?
  • What are the risks associated with my treatment and how can I recognize problems when they occur?
  • What are the risks involved if I am pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are nursing?

Play an active role in finding your treatment and managing your illness. No one knows better than you do how you are feeling and how your symptoms or the events in your life are affecting you. Never be afraid to get a second opinion if you don't feel your treatment is working as well as it should.