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Importance of Taking Medications with You During Doctor's Visit!

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Importance of Taking Medications with You During Doctor's Visit!

3 min read


Read the article to know why one needs to know about their medications and carry them along during their doctor’s visit.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Sneha Kannan

Published At December 16, 2013
Reviewed AtMarch 6, 2024


Carrying all the prescribed and non-prescribed medications during the visit to a doctor for a follow-up or a fresh consultation is important because it helps the doctor of any specialty to understand the patient's condition well, know about their existing underlying medical conditions, also avoid prescribing them the same medications, or those drugs that can have a drug interaction with the current medication. The article talks about the importance of taking all the medications to the doctor during a consultation and also why one should know the medicines they are taking.

What Is the Importance of Taking All the Medications While Visiting a Doctor?

Carrying all the medications and medical records to a doctor during a consultation is of utmost importance. Some of the key reasons are as follows:

  • The doctor can check the patient's medical records before making any diagnosis and prescribing any treatment during an appointment. This would help the consultant know about the patient's existing medical condition and any allergic reactions to any drug or its ingredient, and also save valuable time for both the patient and the doctor.

  • A doctor can also make an informed decision about the patient's care by having all the details about medical records, laboratory investigations, and medications readily available. This further helps reduce medical errors, and the doctors do not end up prescribing the same drug and drug dosage or any medicine that is contraindicated to the patient in the past due to some drug allergy or interaction.

  • The patient's previously diagnosed health status is beneficial to guide the doctor in establishing the best course of action to diagnose and manage the current health condition. It also helps them to understand the link between the underlying past medical condition and the currently prevailing disease or condition.

  • Also, before surgery, one must take all their medications to the doctor during a visit because the doctor should know about the patient's medical history, including medication details. This would ensure that one is eligible for surgical procedures under anesthesia, if any medication needs to be stopped or continued, or if any drug dose needs to be modified.

  • Also, knowing the medication that one is taking is important. A person should know their medication and why they have been prescribed a particular drug. This would help them to share the same information with any other doctor or new specialty they choose to visit anytime in life apart from their regular or family consultant or in case of an emergency.

What Is the Significance of a Patient’s Medication Records?

  • The patient’s medication records are of great importance. Any patient suffering from multiple health issues, such as diabetes (high blood glucose), hypertension (elevated blood pressure), hyperlipidemia (high lipid levels), chronic kidney disease, coronary artery disease (disease or damage of the major blood vessels of the heart), orthostatic hypotension (low blood pressure while standing up from a lying or sitting position), and some dizziness, who wants to consult a new specialist for all their concerns would know about the past and present medical health records of a person before making any diagnoses and prescribing medication or dosage.

  • Secondly, if a patient sees another specialist who manages diabetes and addresses hypertension and hyperlipidemia in addition to what neurologists, cardiologists, and nephrologists do. Also, the super specialty consultants modify the patients' medications or doses, which can sometimes be very confusing for the patient. Therefore, it would be a very healthy practice to review other medications or prescriptions, and an even better practice would be to talk to the other consultant about so-and-so medication or dose changes. However, this is seldom done in clinical practice. As a result, the patient gets prescribed the same drugs or preparations for their already existing conditions and takes countless medications in addition to over-the-counter supplements, such as omega-3, flax seed, vitamin E, and vitamin C.

Why Should One Know About the Medications They Are Taking?

  • Various drug interactions can have adverse effects on a patient and may lead to some fatal complications. Therefore, one must know about the medications taken by them and the reason why the drug has been prescribed to them. Additionally, one must ensure that they inform the doctor about their past and present medical history and the medications they are taking to avoid such instances of adverse drug effects. Also, one must contact the healthcare provider immediately if any such event happens, to minimize the risk of further complications.

  • Some of the common adverse drug reactions can occur, which may go away on their own. In case they become severe, one must consult the doctor. They include:

    1. Hives.

    2. Skin Rash.

    3. Shortness of breath (dyspnea).

    4. Fever.

    5. Swelling.

    6. Itching.

    7. Watery eyes.

    8. Runny nose.

    9. Wheezing

  • Some of the severe adverse drug effects due to anaphylaxis or life-threatening allergic reactions also occur, such as

    1. Low blood pressure (hypotension).

    2. Vomiting.

    3. Diarrhea.

    4. Troubled breathing.

    5. Nausea.

    6. Abdominal cramps.

    7. Seizures.

    8. Lightheadedness or dizziness.

    9. Loss of consciousness.

    10. Fast or weak pulse.


Thus, this is not only the concern about the cost of medications but also the poor compliance with medications, side effects, and drug interactions. So, an individual must carry all their medications with them when they meet their doctor and also know the indication as to why they are taking a particular prescribed or non-prescribed medication. This would help the doctor make the correct diagnosis, prescribe medications carefully, and also know about the patient's health status in detail to avoid fatal complications and medical errors and to ensure precise treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Is the Importance of Medication in Healthcare?

Medicines are compounds or chemicals to ease the symptoms and prevent the disease. Medication in healthcare helps in the effective management of the disease. Advances in medicines have supported and enabled doctors to treat many diseases and save a life.


What Is the Importance of Medication Management to Patient Safety?

Effective medication management is essential for maintaining the wellness and safety of the patient. However, some medicines can have an adverse effect when taken in the wrong quantity or direction. For this to manage, medication management by the provider is necessary to avoid any harmful effects of medication.


What Is the Apt Way to Take Medications?

The medications should always be taken after consulting the doctor. Only prescribed medication should be consumed. The patient should stop taking medication if reported with any allergy or side effects.


What Is Meant by Safe Handling of Medications?

Safe handling of medication relates to the safety measures taken while handling hazardous medicines. For example, hands should be washed before handling drugs, and gloves are essential. In addition, the provider should know the side effects of taking certain medications.


What Should Be Avoided When Taking Medications?

The person should avoid lying down immediately after taking medications. The expiry date of medicines should always be checked before taking the medications. Certain drugs should be avoided and taken on an empty stomach.


Why Is It Said Not to Touch Medications?

Some medications can be hazardous to the touch. Therefore it is essential to handle the medicines very carefully. In addition, many drugs can accidentally get absorbed through the skin, leading to harmful effects.


What Does Six R’s in Medication Mean?

The six R’s of medication administration are as follows:
- Identification of the right patient.
- Verification of right patient.
- Verifying the indication of use.
- Calculating the correct dose.
- Make sure it's the right time.
- Check the valid route.


Does Drinking Too Much Water Dilute the Medication?

Water helps the medicine pass from the mouth to the stomach and small intestine, absorbed for the desired action. Some studies suggest that drinking too much water can remove the electrolyte from balance and dilutes the medication. Swallowing medicines with more quantity of water can prevent drugs from acting correctly and may lead to undesired side effects.


What Are Risks Associated With Administrating Medications?

Risks associated with medications are missing doses, wrong medicines, and wrong doses. In addition, some medications may be allergic to a person and carry an increased risk of patient harm. Therefore, the healthcare provider should carefully administer the transdermal and intravenous doses to avoid adverse effects.


How Does the Provider Ensure the Safe and Proper Use of Medicines?

There are various ways of ensuring the safe and proper use of medicines, such as evaluating the patient’s problem to specify the therapeutic objective. The selection of safe drugs is necessary by the provider. The provider and the receiver should check the expiry date of every drug.


What Are the Three Most Common Causes of Error Seen in Medication?

The most common causes of error seen in medication are miscalculating doses, failing to identify contraindications or drug interaction, and incorrect prescriptions. In addition, The healthcare provider or the patient can make errors seen in medication. Finally, poor communication between doctor and patient can result in medication errors.


What Should Be Done by the Nurse Before Administrating the Medication?

Before administration of drugs, the nurse should validate and check the medication. In addition, the nurse should check all the patient's vital signs before administering medicines. The patient's medical history should be taken before administering the medication to avoid complications.


What Is the Importance of Medical Safety?

Medical safety can reduce or prevent the risk of harm to others. Medical safety is the freedom from accidental injury due to medical errors during medication use. Standard safety measures involve hand hygiene, safe injection practices, and sterile instruments.


What Is Meant by Medication Safety?

Medication safety is a precautionary measure to prevent overdose, adverse reactions, and death. In addition, it aims to protect from accidental injury or medical error. Finally, medication safety ensures the clinical safety of prescribing, dispensing, administering, and monitoring medication use.
Dr. Sruti Chandrasekaran
Dr. Sruti Chandrasekaran



chronic kidney diseasepcpimportance of medicationsdiabeteshypertension
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