Showing posts with label Pharmacist. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pharmacist. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The 10 Most Important Questions You're Not Asking Your Pharmacist

Your pharmacist is an important part of your healthcare team, able to help you with interpret and evaluate information regarding your medications, but they’re often an overlooked resource. The next time you visit your pharmacy for either prescription or over-the-counter medication, don’t hesitate to speak with your pharmacist if you have any questions. Below are 10 questions to consider asking.

  1. How long do I need to take this medication? In the case of an antibiotic, which is usually prescribed for an infection, you may only take the prescription for 7-10 days. However, for a chronic condition, such as a thyroid disorder, the medication might be something that’s required on an ongoing basis. It’s important to understand what your medication requires – and it’s also important to take the full dosage, even if you start to feel better!
  2. Should I take this medication with food or on an empty stomach? In some instances, taking meds with food might be necessary because taking it on an empty stomach can make you feel sick. In other cases, meds can have an interaction with or be ineffective when taken with certain foods. It’s important to know the proper way to take each medication.
  3. What time of day should I take this medication? All medications are different! Sometimes taking them in the evening is recommended, while others suggest taking them in the morning. Your pharmacist can point out the reason behind taking your medicine when it’s suggested.
  4. What are the possible side effects of this medication? By discussing any possible side effects with your pharmacist, you will be prepared should you experience any unusual sensations while taking your medicine. Sometimes side effects can even be managed by taking into account some of the above (when you eat and when you take your meds).
  5. What if I miss a dose? As your pharmacist will explain, in some cases, you should go ahead and take that missed dose. In other cases, you should wait until it’s time for your next dose. 
  6. Are there any possible interactions? It’s important to share a complete list of all your meds, both prescription and over-the-counter, including supplements, vitamins, and herbal remedies, with your pharmacist to help alleviate any interactions. Also, your pharmacist will point out any possible interactions with certain foods, even exposure to sun, that can impact the effectiveness of your medication or your health. 
  7. How should I store this medication? For most medications, a dry, cool temperature is suggested for storage. There are certain medications that require refrigeration, however. Ask! 
  8. How should I dispose of this medication? Medicine take-back programs ( are a great option for medication disposal. In some instances, flushing and using the trash are approved, too. Ask your pharmacist for guidelines. 
  9. Is a generic available? Using a generic medication can usually save you money while providing the same benefits as a brand drug. If you’re not receiving the generic, ask for it! 
  10. Am I getting the best price possible? By using your FamilyWize prescription savings card, you can ensure you are receiving the best possible price on your medication. Anyone can request a card by printing one at or by calling 1-800-222-2818.
    FamilyWize also has a drug lookup tool. Before leaving your home to pick up your medication, taking a minute to look up the pharmacy with the best price can help you save significantly at the pharmacy. 
    Both the savings card and the drug lookup took are available in the free FamilyWize app: Click here to download it to an Apple product or click here to download it for Andriod.
    Your doctor may have other money-saving suggestions or tips. 

Based on your condition, the prescription your doctor prescribes, and your personal situation, you may have additional questions for your pharmacist. Remember: your pharmacist is happy to help you with any questions or concerns, so don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Huffington Post: 8 Questions To Ask Your Pharmacist

More than 4 billion prescriptions were filled at retail pharmacies in 2014, according to data from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Of those prescriptions, roughly half to three-quarters were used incorrectly, says pharmacist Linda Bernstein, a volunteer clinical professor at University of California-San Francisco School of Pharmacy and a spokeswoman for Whether it’s a medication you’ve been taking for 20 years or just a few days, it’s important to ask your pharmacist these seemingly obvious but crucial questions…

To learn which questions you should be asking, read the full article from Huffington Post Healthy Living here

Monday, September 10, 2012

Should You Buy Your Meds Online?

The last time I needed a prescription medication, my doctor typed it into his computer and I just went to my local pharmacy to pick it up. One co-pay later and I was on my way to recovery. Since my COBRA benefits expired last month, along with my prescription benefits, I'm now on my own for medications.

Before I knew about FamilyWize, I wondered if I could buy a ninety day supply via mail order from an on line pharmacy like I did with my former insurance plan.  That was very economical and I wondered if I could do the same online without insurance. I searched for a pharmacy online and came up with a huge list. Which one is the best online pharmacy? Are there risks involved? How can I protect myself?

What I learned made me hesitant, it seems like the risks might not outweigh any benefits.

Risks of Ordering Online
  • A pharmacy online might not be licensed in the U.S. so it might not adhere to U.S. safety standards.
  • Counterfeit drugs might be dispensed.
  • The site might not be a real pharmacy and could steal your identity/credit card information.
  • Medications might not be received or be correct and the pharmacy offers no resolution to the problem.
Other Red Flags
  • An e pharmacy that doesn't insist on having the prescription mailed or faxed to them isn’t legitimate. Federal law requires pharmacists to have a written prescription that contains the doctor's signature and other information that identifies the doctor as one that is licensed to write prescriptions.
  •  An international pharmacy might provide medication that is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  •  Would you want to order ANYTHING, especially medicine from a pharmacy that does not list a street address or has only foreign contact information?
Here’s a link with some useful information you can use to protect yourself.

One thing that I discovered was that part of the reason buying by mail or online seemed so economical was because I was ordering a three month supply.  I discovered that there’s a real savings because the pharmacy is only charging one dispensing fee for the three month supply. If you fill them as 3 separate prescriptions, you’ll pay a fee for each filling.

Local pharmacies offer counseling from a pharmacist.
If your doctor, or vet for pet medications, will write a 90 day prescription and you use a FamilyWize card, you may find you save even more than ordering from an online pharmacy. Plus if you shop at your local pharmacy, you'll save postage too. So if you're looking for a discount, don't discount your local pharmacy. 

Here’s  something I learned that may even be more valuable than saving money on your prescription. When ordering online, we don't get face time with a pharmacist who can be familiar with our overall health. I've been getting prescriptions for both my mother and myself and it's nice to be able to connect with the same pharmacist each time. I was looking for an over the counter allergy medication recently, and our pharmacist suggested checking with my doctor first because what I had chosen could have an interaction with one of my prescribed medications.  I realized I might miss out on that extra care if I purchase prescriptions from one store and over the counter medications from another store.

Try your FamilyWize discount drug card on a 90 day supply of your prescriptions and see how much you can save.

Caroline Carr
Contributing Writer