What to watch for with new medications

These steps will help make sure that medications are taken safely and appropriately


Communication is vital when making any changes to the medications taken by the person you are caring for. 

These steps will help make sure that medications are taken safely and appropriately: 

  • Keep an accurate, up-to-date list of current medications for use by the care team when any new treatment is under consideration. This can help to avoid interactions between current and new medications.
  • Ask the care team what to expect with the new medication. It is essential to ask your prescriber about specific warning signs to watch out for. 
  • Monitor for changes after the new medication is started. Signs such as bleeding, difficulty breathing, and chest pain are examples of symptoms that should be immediately checked with the care team. 
  • Do not stop medications without checking with your prescriber. With some medications, suddenly stopping them can result in adverse effects.

Make sure you reach out to the care team with any questions or concerns. Ensure that you keep track of all medications from all sources, and report any concerning signs. If you feel your concerns are not being addressed, consider seeking a second opinion. 

NIH: Safe Use of Medicines for Older Adults

HealthinAging: What Older Adults Can Do To Manage Medications

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