Showing posts with label ask your pharmacist. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ask your 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 (www.fda.gov/drugs) 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 www.FamilyWize.org/card 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.
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

What Should I Ask My Pharmacist?


Most people think of their pharmacist as someone who simply fills their prescriptions. They may not be aware that your pharmacist can be an excellent source for information and advice - not only when it comes to prescriptions, but also with nonprescription medications, herbal supplements, and safe use, storage, and disposal of medicine.

If you’re one of the 44 percent of Americans who regularly take prescription medication, this list of questions to ask could come in handy the next time you go to the pharmacy.
  • What is this pill supposed to do for me? If you take a lot of pills, it can get confusing as to what you’re taking and why. Don’t be embarrassed to ask your pharmacist about what the names of your medication are, what the ingredients are, and what the medication is supposed to do - in an emergency, this information could be critical.
  • How do I use this? There are many health aids that can be tricky to know how to use the first few times, such as inhalers or injections. Ask your pharmacist for guidance on items that may take special skills or understanding to use them properly.
  • How, when, and for how long should I take this medication? Medications are only optimally effective when used properly. That means knowing how long you should continue to use them, how many times a day you should take them, and how many you should take at a time. Some things that are good for you in one quantity or duration can be bad for you in another. For example, a short-course medicine, such as an antibiotic to treat an infection, may only be needed for 7-10 days, but must be taken for its full course of treatment, even if you begin to feel better sooner. Your pharmacist can guide you in all this!
  • Is there an optimal time to take this? Some medicines and supplements are best taken at night, because they can cause drowsiness. Others may have a stimulant effect and should best be taken early in the day. Ask your pharmacist if you’re not sure when the best time would be to take your medicine.
  • Can I take this on an empty stomach? What about with food? Some drugs can make you queasy if you don't take them with food. Other drugs may not work as well if taken with food. Your pharmacist can help guide you through any dietary restrictions with your medication.
  • How can I avoid any drug interaction issues? Certain things can interfere with the effectiveness of your medicine. Even something as simple as sunlight exposure can be a problem with certain drugs. Be sure to ask what is safe to do while taking your medicines. To give you the best answer, your pharmacist may need a complete list of medicines you take, including prescriptions, over-the-counter, and herbal products, so have one ready when you call or visit your pharmacy.
  • What's the best way to store or dispose of my medications? How long a drug stays safe or effective often depends on how it is stored. In addition, when you have outdated drugs or medications that you no longer need, keeping them in your home can be a risk to others or yourself. Your pharmacist is an expert on the best way to dispose of drugs.
For more valuable pharmacy and medication tips, download our free Live Healthy, Live Smart® eBook. We’re offering this booklet to celebrate our tenth anniversary of helping individuals, families, and communities save money on their medication - click the link for your free copy, and get more great tips on medication savings and safety!

Ric Moxley
Contributing Writer