for Veterans and the Public
Questions to Ask Your Health Care Provider about HIV Drugs
One of the most important things you can do to make sure you take your medicine correctly is to talk with your doctor about your lifestyle, such as your sleeping and eating schedule. If your doctor prescribes a drug, be sure and ask the following questions (and make sure you understand the answers):
- What dose of the drug should be taken? How many pills does this mean?
- How often should the drug be taken?
- Does it matter if it is taken with food, or on an empty stomach?
- What should I do if I forget to take a dose?
- What are the side effects of the drug?
- What should be done to deal with the side effects?
- How severe do side effects have to be before a doctor is called?
- Does this medication interact with any other medications I am taking?
During every visit to your doctor, you should talk about whether you are having trouble staying on your treatment plan. Studies show that patients who take their medicine in the right way get the best results: their viral loads stay down, their CD4 counts stay up, and they feel healthier.