What You Should Know Before Starting a New Medication

More than half of all U.S. adults are taking some kind of daily medication. With so many active prescriptions, it’s not surprising that some patients are dealing with adverse reactions from allergies and unpleasant side effects. With that in mind, here are three things you should know before starting a new medication.

Your Medical History

Before starting a new medication, make sure your doctor accounts for your medical history, family history, allergies, and pre-existing conditions. If you have a history of high blood pressure, for example, it may not be a good idea to take a medication with increased blood pressure as a side effect.

It’s important to be an active participant in the doctor’s office, especially in New Hampshire. If you’ve had previous surgeries or complications with other medications, you need to tell your doctor as that could cause unexpected reactions.

Interactions With Other Medications

Before starting a new medication, make sure your doctor accounts for all the medications you’re currently taking. If you’re seeing multiple doctors, make sure you include any prescriptions they made as well.

Medications are chemistry, and chemistry is all about reactions. A drug may cause no adverse reactions by itself, but when taken with other compounds, it could cause severe and unexpected health concerns, even outside of the normal side effects.

Side Effects

Before starting any medication, make sure your doctor fully explains the potential side effects, even the rare ones. Understanding these side effects from the outset can help you understand whether you feel safe starting a particular medication and can help you identify the difference between a normal ailment and one caused by the new medication.

Most importantly, keep track of all your allergies and make sure your doctor considers those when writing your prescription. Medication names and compounds can be difficult to remember (fluoroquinolones, for example), so make sure you write down your allergies and keep them handy so they’re easily accessible at the doctor’s office and in case of a medical emergency. The better informed your doctor is, the less likely they are to prescribe a medication that might cause an adverse reaction.

If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries due to medical negligence, let us help. To schedule a free case consultation with an experienced New Hampshire medical malpractice attorney from Upton & Hatfield, LLP, don’t hesitate to call (603) 716-9777 or send us an email.