You may wonder, "Why would I need to have tests to check on medicine that's meant to help me?" Your doctor may want you to have tests to be sure that the medicine isn't harming you and that you're getting the right dose. Sometimes the amount of medicine that helps you is very close to the amount that can cause harm to your body.
Monitoring your medicines helps you and your doctors to:
Be sure you are getting the right dose for your gender, age, and weight.
Be sure the medicine is working for you.
Avoid bad interactions with other medicines.
Avoid damage to your heart, kidneys, liver, or other organs.
Your doctor will likely let you know when you need to have the tests. If you think a medicine you're on should be monitored but you're not sure how long it's been since your last test, talk to your doctor. He or she can let you know if and when you need to be checked.
It's important to know how to prepare for the test, such as knowing when you took the last dose of the medicine for which you are being tested. Ask your doctor for instructions about the timing of the test.
Tell your doctor about all the prescription and nonprescription medicines you are taking and any drugs (such as alcohol, marijuana, or cocaine) you are using. Sometimes these can interfere with testing.
Common medicines that are monitored
What they do
Why monitor them
Tests you may have
These medicines lower blood pressure, treat heart failure, and help prevent heart attacks and strokes.
They may affect how well your kidneys are working and the level of potassium in your body.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.