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The National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE) has designated October as "Talk About Your Medicines" month. The goal is to promote and enhance communications between patients and health care providers regarding the safe and appropriate use of medications. The NCPIE believes this can ultimately lead to a reduction in medication-related errors and better health outcomes.

Questions to ask your health care provider

To help ensure that you minimize the risks and maximize the benefits of your medications, here’s a list of questions that you should ask your physician, pharmacist, nurse practitioner or other medical professional whenever a new drug is recommended for you:

  1. Why are you recommending this medication for me? What is it for?
  2. What is the exact name of the medication? (Request the spelling if you are unsure.)
  3. How, when and for how long should I take this medication? Should I take it with food or on an empty stomach? If the dosage is once-a-day, should I take it in the morning, at night or on a different schedule?
  4. Should I expect to experience any medication-related side effects and, if so, how can I manage them?
  5. Is there anything I should avoid while taking this medication (e.g., specific foods, alcoholic beverages, certain activities, driving or operating machinery)?
  6. Is this medicine safe for me to use along with my other medications, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter remedies, vitamins and supplements?
  7. When can I expect to see the effects of this medication, and how will I know whether it’s working?
  8. How should I store this medication? Does it need to be refrigerated?
  9. Is there any additional information that I should know about this medication?

At Moffitt Cancer Center, we uphold the objectives of “Talk About Your Medicines” month all year round. To ensure that each patient receives the most appropriate medications for his or her unique needs, our pharmacy team works closely with the patient’s referring physicians as well as any other Moffitt teams that are involved in the patient’s treatment, such as medical oncology, critical care, blood and bone marrow transplantation and hematology. Through our collaborative approach to the delivery of pharmaceutical treatments, we provide a streamlined experience that leads to exceptional satisfaction and an enhanced quality of life for our patients.

For further information, you can request an appointment at Moffitt Cancer Center by calling 1-888-663-3488 or completing a new patient registration form online. You do not need a referral.