What to do when you start taking new medications

Written By

June 24, 2024

Did you know that twenty to thirty percent of all medications prescribed are never filled, and half of the medications for chronic conditions are not taken as they are meant to.  If you need extra help, we’re here for you. Simply self enroll for medication support, you can also call us at (410) 348-1905 or send us an email.

Step One: Talk with Your Doctor or Pharmacist

Ask About the Medication

1. Ask Questions: What is this medication for? Write down the answer.

2. Side Effects: Know what to expect and when to call your doctor.

3. How to Take It: Should it be taken with food? At a specific time?

4. When It Works: Some medications work right away, others take time.

5. Reporting Issues: Know what side effects to watch for and report.

6. Missed Doses: Learn what to do if you forget a dose.

7. Food and Drug Interactions: Are there any you should avoid?

Step Two: Trial Period

1. Fill Your Prescription: Use the same pharmacy for all your medications to keep things simple. Read more about why this is important.

2: Build that habit. Take your medication at the same time every day - build it into your daily routine. Use programs like Scene Health’s to help you stay on track with your medications. Medications can take hours to months to show effects. Staying consistent even if you don’t notice the changes is really important!

Step Three: Stay Healthy Long-Term

1. Stick with It: Many medications for chronic conditions like hypertension and diabetes may not make you FEEL different - but they are keeping you healthy long term!  Other medications make you feel better quickly but don’t stop taking them - feeling better means they are working!

2. Monitor Changes: If you feel unwell or notice new or worsening side effects, contact your provider. Bodies can change, and so can your reaction to medication.

3. Plan for refills: Especially before travel or time away from home. Learn more about managing your prescriptions here.

4. Don't Quit Suddenly: Stopping medication abruptly can be dangerous. Always check with your provider before making changes. The Scene Care Team is also here to help for questions or concerns. 

By asking the right questions, tracking how you feel as you start a new medication, and sticking to your prescribed regimen, you're setting yourself up for better health. Starting a new medication can feel like a big step, but you're not alone in this journey. Reach out to your healthcare team or your dedicated Scene nurse for guidance and support—they're here to help you every step of the way.

For more information, check out: MedlinePlus and American Heart Association.

The content on this site is not and should not be considered medical advice or a substitute for individual medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should always talk to your health care provider(s) for diagnosis and treatment, including information regarding which drugs, therapy, or other treatment may be appropriate for you. Learn more here.

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