It’s not uncommon for a doctor to prescribe a medication for a patient, even though they haven’t been diagnosed with or treated for the condition. If you’ve been prescribed a medication, ask your doctor if it’s safe to use it. The doctor can look up the medicine in the medical literature and decide if it’s been studied enough to be used as a treatment.
If your doctor prescribes a medication, be sure to ask about possible side effects and risks. Side effects can include:
- Changes in mood
- Changes in vision
Also ask if the medication isn’t a good fit for you. This is especially important if the medication was prescribed for you by your doctor to treat a condition that’s no longer an issue.
If a doctor prescribes a medication for you, take it as prescribed. If you stop taking it, you may develop a condition like depression, irritability, or anxiety, which is not related to the condition the medication was prescribed to treat.
What to do if you get an unexpected prescription?
If you get an unexpected prescription from your doctor, talk to your pharmacist or the doctor who prescribed the medication to find out about its possible side effects and possible interactions with other medications you take.
If you have any questions about a prescription, call your doctor’s office or the pharmacist.
Your doctor may also prescribe other medications to treat a condition. Your doctor will look over the list of medications you take to see which one is right for you. They may also look at the list of medications you should avoid if you have a certain condition. For example, if you have an irregular heartbeat, your doctor may want to avoid certain drugs that can make the heart beat too fast.
You should discuss all medications with your doctor. Be sure to ask any questions you have about the medication.
If you need to see a doctor, you should be able to make an appointment quickly and easily. Many doctors’ offices offer telehealth services, which allow you to make an appointment virtually.
When to see a doctor?
If you develop any of the symptoms below, you should see a doctor right away. Call 911 or your local emergency services if you have any of these symptoms:
- Severe, sudden, or unexplained back pain
- Symptoms of a heart attack, such as chest pain or pressure, neck pain, or jaw pain
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea and vomiting
- Hallucinations or confusion
How to find a doctor?
If you’re worried about finding a doctor who can treat your condition, you have a few options.
Healthline’s tool can help you find a doctor who practices at your location.
You can search for doctors on the tool by selecting your state and city.
You can also use Healthline’s tool to search for a doctor who practices in your area.
If you don’t see a doctor in your area, you can search online for doctors, hospitals, and clinics.
Where to find a doctor?
You can also use Healthline’s tool to find a doctor you can trust.
The tool helps you find local doctors and hospitals. A doctor can help you find a specialist if you need one.
If you’re looking for a general practitioner, you can search for doctors in your area by using Healthline’s tool.
You can also use Healthline’s tool to find a doctor who specializes in a certain condition. You can use the tool by selecting a condition and city or state.
Some conditions are more common than others, so you may need to visit several doctors before you find one who is familiar with your condition.
When to see a specialist?
If you need a specialist to treat your condition, you should make an appointment with a doctor who specializes in treating that condition.
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) recommends that all adults, regardless of their health insurance status, see a primary care physician (PCP) for a regular annual physical exam.
You should see a PCP with any of the following:
- A chronic condition
- A mental health condition
- A chronic condition, that is, a condition that lasts for more than six months
- Rare or uncommon conditions
- Symptoms that don’t go away with treatment or treatment that is not working
If you have more than one of these conditions, you should see a PCP with all of them.
If you’re uninsured and you have a chronic condition, you should see a PCP as often as possible.
A doctor can help you make an appointment online, by phone, or by in-person during your regularly scheduled time.
If you have other questions, you can ask your PCP or contact the American College of Physicians (ACP).
What can you expect?
You can expect to see a wide range of different doctors. Your first visit will likely be with a PCP or a family medicine doctor (FM).
If your condition is serious, your doctor may refer you to a specialist. You should see a specialist if you have any of the following:
- Severe or chronic pain
- Severe or chronic fatigue
- Severe or chronic weakness
- Difficulty speaking
Your doctor may refer you to an emergency room or the hospital. If you have a life-threatening condition, you should bring it to the attention of a doctor as soon as possible.
You can find a doctor in your area by using Healthline’s tool.
What about telehealth?
Doctors can now see patients virtually by using telehealth. Telehealth is a type of telemedicine.
Telehealth is a type of electronic communication between a person and a health care professional. It can include seeing a doctor, getting tests, and getting care.
Telehealth is now the most common form of medical care. There are many different types of telehealth, such as:
- Video visits
- Telephone visits
- Telehealth consultations
- Virtual care
Telehealth can be used for many types of medical issues. However, it can be used more often for conditions in which a person can’t travel to see a doctor or specialist.
Telehealth can also be used to help a person get an appointment with a specialist.
If you have an appointment with your doctor through telehealth, you can use Healthline’s tool to find a doctor.
A doctor can help you find a specialist if you need one.
A doctor can also help you find a specialist if you need a referral.
If your doctor prescribes you a medication to treat a health condition that’s no longer an issue for you, you can stop it. It’s important that you do this slowly and in consultation with your doctor. In most cases, you should only stop a medication if you’re experiencing symptoms, such as nausea or fatigue, and your doctor says they’re related to the medication you’re taking and can be treated by stopping it.
Images by Freepik
Generated by AI