How do I use preventive medications safely?

How to Use Your Headache Medications Safely

  • Make sure you tell your doctor about all other medications you take.
  • Be aware of any possible drug interactions.
  • Know what you should avoid while taking the medication.
  • If you experience side effects, talk with your doctor to see if something can be done to reduce them.
  • Be patient - it sometimes takes a period of 4 to 8 weeks to know if a medication is right for you.

Sometimes one type of preventive medication can stop working. Then you may need to take another. However, you should not change your medication without talking to your doctor first. How effective a preventive medication is depends a lot on how you use it. These techniques will help you use your medication safely while you get the most benefit from it.

  • Take your medication in the amounts and at the times prescribed by your doctor.
  • Learn the common side effects of the medication you take. When you have those or other side effects, report them to your doctor.
  • Be willing to try other preventive medications your doctor may suggest if the first choice does not work well for you.
  • Keep a record of how your medications affect any headaches and any symptoms you have.
  • Make periodic appointments with your doctor to discuss how well you are doing on your medication.

Your experience with these medications will be unique to you. Remember, finding the right medication may take time. Work with your doctor to find the one that is right for you.

How do I take preventive medication?

Preventive medication is taken one or more times a day. You take it in the same dose and at the same time each day. If the type of preventive medication you take does not work well, you may need to try a different kind. Usually, you take one type of preventive medication for about 4 to 8 weeks to see how well it is working before your doctor will decide to switch medications.

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