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Three Things To Ask Your Doctor About Your Gout Medications

Mar 13, 2008
If you suffer from gout and you have been prescribed gout medications by your doctor, you need to take the time to ask your doctor all the questions you may have regarding your prescription. Not sure what you should ask? The following are three questions you should ask your doctor before you take any medication he/she prescribes:

1. What is the name of the medication, and how does it work? You need to know what the medication is called, and how it works to treat gout. For instance, you may find that your doctor is prescribing you medication that is designed to not only treat gout attacks, but prevent them. The more you know about how gout medications work, the more you will understand how to effectively use it so your body receives the best benefits. Furthermore, understating the medication helps you learn what results you should expect to see.

2. Are there any side effects or drug interactions I should be aware of? This is an essential question, because all medications carry some risk of negative side effects. You need to know:

- What the most common side effects are
- What the more severe side effects are
- What the long-term side effects are.

You should also find out when you should report any side effects to your doctor. The reason is because some side effects you experience may be expected, and shouldn't be cause for concern unless they develop into something else.

When asking about side effects, you also need to find out if the gout medications being prescribed interferes with other medications (both prescribed and over-the-counter) you may be taking for other health conditions, or to treat minor ailments such as the common cold or headaches. For instance, Colchicine, a common medication prescribed for gout, should not be used by people who suffer from serious gastrointestinal disorders.

Learning side effects also includes informing your doctor about any allergies you may have, as you may discover that you cannot take the gout medication if it contains ingredients to which you are allergic.

3. Are their alternatives to this medication? Find out from your doctor if there are other gout medications that are less severe, or if there are other gout treatments you can try if you are interested in a safer or milder drug alternative. You should also find out if the drug being prescribed is available in an alternative/generic name brand, which would be less expensive.

It is imperative that you talk to your doctor and keep the doors of communication open with him or her. Communication is how you will learn about gout medications, other gout treatments, and any other gout facts that could be very important to your condition. The more knowledge you obtain, the less stress you will feel, and the better you can treat your gout.

Sometimes you may find it difficult to have a conversation with you doctor during your visit, especially when your doctor is overwhelmed with work and other patients. However, this shouldn't stop you from asking your questions or receiving answers. If your doctor is unwilling to take the time to talk with you, or cannot provide you with, or find you the answers to your questions, perhaps it's time to change physicians, and find a doctor who cares about your health as much as you do.

Don't forget, any question or concern you may have regarding gout medications is worth asking your doctor. You may have heard the statement "There are no stupid questions", and when it comes to your health, this statement couldn't be more accurate. Never forget that you are responsible for your own wellbeing.
About the Author
Grab your free copy of Lisa McDowell's brand new Gout Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you discover more about Gout Medications and the natural gout remedy alternatives.
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