Perhaps in the past, one would take prescribed medicines without any questions asked; as long as they’re prescribed, that meant they were safe. But in today’s world, we’re much more aware of our health in general, and there’s enough information around to help us take better care of ourselves, and learn more about medications prescribed for us.

People are diagnosed with all sorts of conditions that need medication. In fact, 11.5 million adults in England are on prescription drugs, and one in four is actually on addictive prescribed drugs. The people most likely to use medicines are elderly people and people with chronic conditions. Having said that, the misuse of medication is more prevalent in younger adults, aged 18-25.

Not everything you want to know about the medication will be written on its label. What is written about dosage, side effects, and warnings are addressed to the general public and not to your particular medical condition. That’s why you might be subscribed more or less of a recommended dosage. When you pose questions to a doctor, it will give you a much better understanding of what the medicine is, how to administer it to yourself safely, and how it will affect you.

To be better informed about any medicine you’re prescribed, here are some of the most common and main questions to ask your physician.

Is this medicine addictive?

Clearly, you want to be extremely well-informed about your condition and if the medicine is addictive. Prescription drug addiction is common, and if you find yourself needing more of the medicine that could be a sign, you’ve become addicted. To prevent that from happening, have your doctor tell you about addiction possibility.

How long should I take it?

The medicines might be for long term or short term use, such as medications utilized to treat pain from arthritis, muscle and joint pain, back pain or period pain. When buying medicines online, make sure there is doctor consultation on the site to know the severity of your pain and to be able to prescribe the right dosage and duration of time to take it. It’s imperative you provide yourself with enough information on how to use an online pharmacy and the medicines sold on it. These pharmacies are registered and licensed to cater to certain medications for men and women, and treat various chronic conditions, and improve sexual well-being.

What happens if I don’t take the medication?

Before you ask what happens when you take medicine, find out what will happen if you don’t. There are many conditions that could worsen and put your physical well-being more at risk if you decide to not take medicine, and you need to be completely aware of possible outcomes.

What are the risks and benefits of this medicine?

It’s quite common to find that while medicines ‘fix’ something, it might negatively affect something else. Medicines typically have both risks and benefits, and it’s a matter of knowing what they are. Your doctor will be the one to tell you if the benefits outweigh the risks.

How does this medicine react with other medications?

It’s critical that you tell a doctor about any other medication you’re on. The medication you are already on might have adverse effects when combined with another medicine. This can be extremely dangerous and even fatal if a doctor isn’t informed of your current medication or if you mislead them. By the same token, there are many medications that need not cause any problems with other medications.

What happens if I miss a dose?

We live in busy times, so not surprisingly, we can forget to take our medicine. You’ll want to know what to do if you forget to take it. Don’t assume anything on your own, such as taking it twice the next day, or skipping the entire day. These decisions are left up to the doctor.

How should I store this medicine?

This is a question that will often escape people’s minds. You want to know if the medication needs to be stored at a special temperature. Some medications need to be kept in the fridge, while others do well at room temperature. Other medicines can lose their effectiveness if exposed to sun, heat, or humidity.

Medicine isn’t candy that we can just keep popping into our mouth. Just because you’ve been prescribed medicine doesn’t mean you need to use it forever and a day or need a stronger dosage. And just because someone you know has the same condition you have, doesn’t mean their medicine will work for you. Always ask a doctor before taking any sort of medicine.