Patient's Role

Medications are just one of many important tools that doctors use in treating short-term and long-term health problems. Taking medications exactly as your doctor prescribes is the first and most important step on the road to better health. 

Lilly wants to help you be successful when it comes to taking your medications. In this section you can read through some important things to think about and find links to other resources you may want to explore.

Get a good start

Starting a new medication can be an overwhelming task. The members of your healthcare 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 healthcare team, it is important to listen, ask questions and write things down so you won't forget them later when you get home.

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 healthcare team. This is not a complete list, but it should get you started on thinking 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 healthcare provider.

  • What is the brand name of the medication?
  • What is the generic or chemical name of the medication?
  • What is the medication being used to treat?
  • 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 healthcare team may have information about these programs, or you can visit these sites to find out more information:

Always take medication as prescribed by your doctor

It is important not to cut corners when taking medication. 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.

There is a wealth of information available on the internet about how to safely take medication. Below are a few links to sites that you may want to visit to learn more.

Keep an up-to-date list of the medications that 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 are not happy with the way the medication is making me 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 patients can avoid getting counterfeit medicine

Patients 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 patients suspect a counterfeit or tampered product, they should report it to their pharmacy, healthcare provider, and the manufacturer. Patients 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.