Friday, January 16, 2015

Health: Questions To Ask Your Doctor and Pharmacist


Hello everyone! Going to the doctor can definitely be a scary event all in itself, however, there are many times it is necessary.  Many people are very afraid to ask the important questions of their doctor or pharmacists. 

There are many drugs on the market for various illnesses that are used to treat them, but they have side effects that could cause other issues.  Let’s take Xarelto, also known as rivaroxaban.  It is an anticoagulant used to keep blood from clotting.  Some of the side effects of Xarelto include uncontrollable bleeding that may become apparent due to symptoms such as coughing up or vomiting blood, headaches, red or black stool, and spinal and epidural blood clots after a spinal tap or epidural.  I am sure that most people are unaware of these side effects due the lack of information provided by companies and physicians. 

While it is important to visit the doctor and take care of yourself, it is just as important to know how a medication can affect you immediately or later in life.  Here are some questions that you should ask your doctor and pharmacist when given a medication:

·        What are the generic and brand names for the prescribed medication? This information is important so that you can do further research on the medication.
·        What are the possible side effects of the medication? This is important to know so that you are aware of what types of problems to look for, as well as, consider if you should stop taking the medication.  You should be aware of what to do if you notice any side effects.
·        Does the prescribed medication mix well with other medications you may be taking? Not all medications play well together. It is very important to be aware of this before you start taking a new medication so that you do not risk preventable side effects and problems.  It is always a good idea to have a list of all medications you take, so that you can ask the doctor or pharmacist if they will work well with other medications.
·        When is the best time to take the medication? In the morning, afternoon, or at night? Should it be taken with food or without? You definitely want to take it at the appointed time and make sure that you are following all of the instructions given for a specific medication to prevent any issues.
·        How long will I take the medication? It is important to know if the medication is to be taken daily, for two weeks, or indefinitely.  You should always take medication according to the instructions given by the doctor.

The pharmacist should be asked the same questions and be able to inform you of when the medication expires.  Taking medication that has expired can have some serious effects as well.  The pharmacist can also explain to you how to properly store the medication and dispose of any that is left after the allotted time to take it.  When you fill a prescription your pharmacist should always provide a Consumer Medical Information Sheet to answer any questions you may have once you have left the pharmacy. 

Remember the importance of being aware of side effects when taking medications. Do not be afraid to ask your doctor and pharmacist questions. It is their responsibility to answer any questions you have and to provide information about any medications you are prescribed.  It is also a good idea to research your medication too.   This is one time when asking questions about your medication can prevent side effects and possibly save your life.

Until next time,

Blessed Tresses

Disclaimer: All information about Xarelto was retrieved from

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