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A recent study by UCLA and UC Davis researchers showed an all too common lack of communication between doctors and patients regarding medication. Nearly half the time, patients walked out of their doctor's office without knowing when or how often to take their medication, and only 35 percent were warned about side effects.

"Even if a doctor seems rushed, patients should take the initiative and ask questions when getting new prescriptions," says Derjung Tarn, MD, PhD, the study's lead researcher. "Patients shouldn't feel shy or embarrassed about this."

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality suggests patients quiz their doctor or pharmacist about their prescription medications.

Print this list to bring to your next doctor's appointment. PDF

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