Whenever you're taking a prescription medicine or using a prescription product for the first time, it's important for you to take certain precautions. First, be sure to inform your doctor whether or not you're allergic to any medications. If you have an allergic reaction to a prescription medication, it's important to notify your doctor, as well. The doctor should also know whether you're taking any other medications, or if you drink alcoholic beverages, which could have a detrimental effect when combined with certain drugs. The doctor will prescribe a specific drug, dosage, the time to take it, and other related information, including side effects. The prescription will contain this information, along with the number of times it can be refilled and expiration date. You should also discuss any special conditions under which the product shouldn't be used, such as driving while taking the medication, or taking it on an empty stomach or with food. Before using a prescription product, be sure to check the label to make sure it's the correct medication and that you understand the instructions on how to use it. You also may wish to discuss with your doctor or pharmacist whether or not a generic version of the product may be substituted, if one is available. Some patients prefer the cost savings of generics, while other patients and doctors prefer to stick with the original, brand-name product.