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In Times of Change

Image of Shawna Kraft, Pharm.D
Shawna Kraft, Pharm.D.

A guide to understanding adjustments to your prescription medications

Many times throughout treatment, a patient's medications may need to be adjusted or changed. It can happen for a variety of reasons, such as unpleasant or intolerable side effects, how your body is responding to the medication or interactions with other medications you take.

A pharmacist is often involved in assisting with your medication changes.

First the pharmacist will assess all of the medications and supplements a patient is taking. Below is a guide to help you understand some of the issues that cause patient' prescriptions to change and the intended outcome.

Cause (of medication changes)

Effect (possible outcomes)

    Medication is causing side effects
  • Change dose to decrease side effects
  • Change how patient is taking medication (timing or formulation)
  • Suggest a medication to treat the side effect
  • Suggest another similar medication that may cause fewer side effects
    Medication may interact with another medication
  • Suggest a similar medication that doesn’t interact
  • Adjust dose of one medication to make up for the interaction
    Medication is not covered by insurance
  • Appeal to insurance company if original medication is best choice for patient
    Genetic testing of disease requires a change
  • Assist in choosing best medication based on that patient’s genetic sequencing
    Patient has many illnesses so some medications may cause more harm than good
  • Assist in choosing best medication that won't interact with patient’s other diseases

Have a question for the pharmacist? Email us at ThriveMagazine@med.umich.edu.

Continue learning how to better understand your prescription medications:

Go back to Spring, 2017 issue of Thrive

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Thrive Issue: 
Spring, 2017