Talking to Your Healthcare Team About Medications
Good communication between you and your healthcare team is important. Your family and friends can talk to your healthcare team, too. You might want to have someone go with you when you have a healthcare appointment. This person could help remember your questions, or take notes while you talk to your doctor.14 Or, if your doctor permits it, you could record the discussion if you can't take someone with you.
Remember that you are the most important member of your healthcare team. You need to feel comfortable asking questions. You can call anytime to ask questions. Or, take a list of questions with you when you go to an appointment.6
Don’t be afraid to tell your doctor, or another healthcare provider, if you have questions about your AED medications. Ask members of your healthcare team any questions you have about AED medications.6 There is no bad question.
Too many pills?
You might feel like you have to take too many pills each day. If you feel this way, ask if there is any way to decrease the number of pills you take.2
Side effects are unwanted or unexpected events or unexpected reactions to a drug that can be caused by a medicine you take. Side effects are also known as adverse events. Any medicine you take, including AEDs, can cause side effects. Side effects are things like feeling sick to your stomach, dizziness, or tiredness.8 If you are having side effects that bother you or stop you from taking your AED, tell your doctor.2 Ask if there is anything that can be done to help you feel better.
Taking Your AED Regularly
Taking your AED regularly is important for seizure control.2 Taking your AED regularly means taking the right amount (that is, the right number of pills), at the right time (for example, twice a day), in the right way (for example, with or without food).7
Are you following the directions on the pill bottle? If not, tell your doctor. You can work together to figure out what stops you from taking the AED regularly.
If you are not taking your AED at all, tell your doctor so you can talk about the reasons and discuss whether lifestyle changes or medication changes are best.7
Have you told your doctor what your treatment goals are? Your doctor needs to know them.9 This way, you can work together to find the best AED to reach your goals. Ask your doctor what their treatment goal is for you. You and your doctor may have different treatment goals.7
There Are 3 Main Things to Remember When You Talk to Your Healthcare Team About AEDs
- First, ask any questions you have about your medications6
- Second, let your doctor know if you’re having trouble taking your AEDs or if you’re not taking your AEDs at all7
- Third, talk to your doctor about your treatment goals9