6 Important Questions to Ask Before Giving Your Child a Prescription Drug

At a time when the time comes for a drug to be prescribed to your child. Here is a list of questions you could ask a health professional, for example, a doctor or pharmacist. You could also write down their answers to help you remember them.

When it comes to giving answers to questions that concern the normal doses of drugs, their interaction with other medications, and possible signs to watch out for when given to a child, pharmacists are specifically trained for that. These are important questions that have been identified by professional pharmacists at  UnionMD to help you stay safe with your child.

#1: What is the name of the medicine?

Many drugs have a brand name and a generic name. Ask if it makes any difference whether you are buying the branded drug or the generic drug. Ask your healthcare provider for the exact spelling of both names and write them down. Sometimes the names and spellings of different drugs are similar, which can be confusing. When you receive the medications, check the labels to make sure the product name is the same.

#2: How should this medication be administered?

Make sure you understand the information and instructions on the medication label. How much to give? How many times a day? How long should the medication be taken? Should it be taken on an empty stomach or with food? If the drug is a tablet, can it be crushed and mixed with juice or milk? Ask if the drug has a taste that will be appealing to the taste of a child (is it sweet or over, or tasteless?), And what can be done to mask a “bad taste”. If the drug is a liquid, ask the pharmacist to give you the proper dosing device, such as a graduated oral syringe.

#3: Does my child’s weight have anything to do with the dose to be administered?

From what weight difference (gain or loss) should the dose be changed?

#4: How quickly does the medicine work?

Will I be able to tell if the medicine is working, or is it acting “silently”? What are the signs that he is acting? How long do I have to wait before calling a health professional if my child’s condition does not improve?

#5: What are the common side effects I can see?

You should ask for the likely mild side effects you are possibly going to observe (eg drowsiness or stomach upset).  What are the possible serious side effects, if any, of this medicine?

What are the signs that I need to monitor that may mean that I need to contact a health professional immediately? In case of accidental overdose, what should I do? How dangerous is it? How should I report the event?

#6: My child is allergic to … Does this medicine contain anything that could cause an allergic reaction?

Inform your pharmacist of all your child’s allergies, whether food, environmental or seasonal and ask about possible interactions.