Questions You Should Ask Before You Give a New Medicine

This Fact Sheet accompanies the Questions You Should Ask Before You Give a New Medicine class in the classroom.

  1. What is this medicine for?
    • Tip: MD include what the drug is for on the prescription.
  2. Do I need to stop giving any current medicines?
    • Tip: Keep a med list with you and review.
  3. How should this medicine be taken?
  4. Do I need to give all the medicine or stop giving it when my loved one feels better?
    • Continue depression meds even if feeling better
  5. How long will this drug be taken?
    • Alzheimer's drugs are long-term
    • Automatic Refill reminders
  6. Tests - Are there any required?
    • Tacrine liver tests
    • Razadyne (formerly Reminyl) and Namenda dosing adjustment required if have kidney problems
  7. How can I tell if the medicine is working? When should I expect it to start working?
    • Alzheimer's drugs weeks to have a full effect.
    • Which symptoms should get better?
  8. Side Effects – What should I do?
  9. What should be avoided?
  10. Missed dose – What should I do?
    • Look in patient information sheet
    • Any DOUBT: Ask pharmacist or Dr. for advice
    • Drugs are different
  11. What printed information can you give me about this medicine?
    • Pharmacist Review
  12. Can I give a generic version of this medicine?
    • No generics for major Alzheimer’s drugs.
    • Generics for some psychosis medications



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College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida