Suggestions for Patients
Get a Good Start
Starting a new medication can be overwhelming. The members of your health care team, which can include a doctor, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, nurse and pharmacist, are there to help you get a good start. As you talk with your health care team, it is important to listen, ask questions and write things down so you won't forget them.
Don't be shy. If you have a question, or are unsure about anything related to taking your medication, just ask.
Not Sure What Questions to Ask?
Here are some questions you may want to discuss with your health care team. This is not a complete list, but it should help you think about what you would like to know. You may even want to print these out and take them with you the next time you visit your doctor or other health care provider.
What is the name of the medication?
Why are you taking this medication?
How much and how often does my doctor want me to take the medication?
For how long should I take the medication?
Is this something I will be taking for a short period of time, or over a long period of time?
How should I take the medication? For example, is it a pill or tablet that must be swallowed? Should I take it on an empty or full stomach? Should I avoid taking it with other medications?
Should I expect to feel different when I start taking the medication, or will it be unnoticeable to me?
How might I know that the medication is working or not working?
What are the warning signs or symptoms that mean I should stop taking the medication and call my doctor?
There are many patient assistance programs available to help with the cost of prescription drugs. Your health care team may have information about these programs, or you can visit the Partnership for Prescription Assistance to find out more information.
Always Take Medication as Prescribed by Your Doctor
It is important for you to take your medication exactly as it is prescribed by your physician. Your doctor prescribes medication based on your specific needs and this may differ from how it is prescribed for others. For example, a medication or specific dose of medication that works for your best friend may not work for you.
Keep an Up-to-date List of Medications You Take on a Regular Basis
Make sure that your physician knows all of the prescription and non-prescription (over-the counter) medications that you take on a regular or occasional basis, including any vitamins or dietary supplements. This is especially important if several different physicians are treating you.
If You Aren’t Happy With the Way a Medication Makes You Feel
If you find you aren't responding well to a medication, call your doctor right away and talk about it. There may be other dosing options or even other medications available and your doctor may want you to try something else.
How You Can Avoid Getting Counterfeit Medicine
You should check the packaging, notice any changes in shape and color of the medicine, and buy medicine only from known and/or established sources. If you suspect a counterfeit or tampered product, you should report it to your pharmacy, health care provider, and the manufacturer. You should also save the medicine so that it can be tested. If you have additional questions or concerns about the safety of any of your Lilly medicines, please call 1.800.LillyRx.
Learn more about counterfeit medicines.
What Are Medication Guides?
When patient-directed labeling is considered necessary for proper use of a drug, the FDA requires patient labeling in non-technical language in the form of Medication Guides. These have been required for certain prescription drugs that may pose a serious and significant public health concern and are determined necessary for a patient's safe and effective use of the medication. Medication Guides are required to be distributed to patients by the health care provider for certain medications. Medication Guides convey risk information that is specific to particular drugs and drug classes, and they contain FDA-approved information that can help patients avoid serious adverse events.
Medication Guides are required if the FDA determines that one or more of the following circumstances exists:
Patient labeling could help prevent serious adverse effects.
A medication has serious risk(s) (relative to benefits) that patients should be made aware of because information concerning the risk(s) could affect a patient's decision to use, or to continue to use, the product.
Adherence to directions for use is crucial to the drug's effectiveness.
Like Patient Package Inserts, Medication Guides are reviewed and approved by the FDA as part of the approved product labeling. Patients should read the medication guide that is included with the prescription drugs to ensure they are aware of important risks.
What Are Patient Package Inserts?
For some prescription drugs, such as oral contraceptives and estrogens, the FDA determined that the safe and effective use of the drug required additional labeling in nontechnical language to be distributed directly to patients by their health care provider or pharmacist. In such circumstances the FDA has required the distribution of a Patient Package Insert (PPI). The PPI also may be provided voluntarily by drug manufacturers for other drugs and are regulated by the FDA as product labeling. PPIs are reviewed and approved by the FDA and may include information about a products benefits, risks, and other information relevant to their safe and effective use.
For package insert, medication guide or other product specific information please refer to our Current Medicines page.