1 Be an active member of your healthcare team. Take part in every decision about your health. Research shows that patients who are more involved get better care.
2 Make sure your doctor knows all the medicines and supplements you take.
3 Make sure your doctor knows about any allergies or adverse reactions you have had to medicines.
4 When your doctor writes you a prescription, read it. If you can't read it, your pharmacist might not be able to either.
5 Ask for information about medicines and treatments in terms you understand–both when your medicines are prescribed and when you receive them.
- What is this medicine for?
- How am I supposed to take it?
- What side effects are likely? What do I do if they occur?
- Is this medicine safe to take with other medicines or dietary supplements I am taking?
- What food or drink should I avoid while taking this?
6 When you pick up a medicine or get a treatment at a medical center, ask: Is this the medicine/treatment that my doctor prescribed?
7 Make sure that all the healthcare providers involved in your care have important information about you. Don't assume that everyone knows what they need to know.
8 Ask a family member or friend to be there with you and be an advocate.
9 Know that more is not always better. Ask why a test or treatment is needed and how it can help. You might be better off without it.
If you have a test, don't assume that no news is good news. Find out the results.