Did you received a medication prescription?
The medication is part of your treatment, and has been selected because it will help you to control infection, pain, or to improve the healing process.
When you receive a prescription, there are several elements that the doctor will include:
- The name of the medication
- The presentation (for example capsule, pill, liquid)
- The dose
- The number of units or amount of liquid
- The intake method (for example oral, nasal, topical)
- The frequency and time for taking the medication (for example, two times per day, before bed, every two hours)
The medication is part of your treatment, and has been selected because it will help you to control infection, pain, or to improve the healing process. It is important that you take the medication as prescribed, and that you inform your physician if there are any adverse effects that inhibit you to take the medication as indicated.
In some cases, you will receive a medication that requires for you to increase the dose during the week. This is call “titration”, and is a process to reach therapeutic levels with minimal side effects. One example is Carbamazepine, a medication for trigeminal neuralgia. Usually the first two or three days you will take one or two pills, and then you will increase the dose. In other cases, you will receive a medication that requires for you to decrease the dose during the week. One example is steroids, a medication used for several conditions, which could start with a higher dose, and then reduce each day during 7 or 10 days. This will be indicated in the written prescription and in the medication package.
The efficacy of a medication depends on many factors, including the absorption of the active component in your body. Your physician might prescribe a blood test to verify the level of the medication in your blood, in order to adjust the dose if needed. Also, there are changes that happens in your body secondary to the metabolism of the medications, and in many cases, some basic functions will be impaired, such as liver or renal function. Because of that, it is common to prescribe laboratory tests to verify that those organs are in good shape and to adjust or substitute the medications if required.
If you experience adverse reactions including (but not limited to) rash, headaches, urinary retention, dizziness, difficulty breathing, you must communicate with your physician immediately. If the reactions are severe, they might be live threatening, so you need to go to an emergency department or call 911.