Questions to ask your pharmacist

Questions to ask your pharmacist

October is American Pharmacists Month. How well do you know your pharmacist? The better you know your pharmacist, the more you’ll know about your medicine. Your pharmacist can explain your pharmaceuticals in plain language (without medical jargon) so you can better understand your medications and health conditions.

According to the American Pharmacists Association, consumers who know their pharmacist’s name are twice as likely to ask their pharmacist the questions they have about their medications. They are also more likely to read product labels and to know the active ingredients in their prescription medications, over-the-counter products, herbal supplements, vitamins and minerals. Knowing the main ingredients is necessary to avoid accidental overdose or conflicts between active ingredients of more than one product or medication.

Your pharmacist can explain your pharmaceuticals in plain language (without medical jargon) so you can better understand your medications and health conditions.

So what questions should you be asking your pharmacist? First, tell your pharmacist everything you use—prescription and over-the-counter—including medications, supplements and vitamins. Give a written record of these medications to your pharmacist.

Let your pharmacist know if you’ve had any allergic reactions or problems with medications, or if there’s anything that could affect your use of the medication, such as difficulty swallowing, remembering to take your medications, reading labels or even trouble paying for your medications. It’s also important to let your pharmacist know if you are pregnant, might become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Questions to ask your pharmacist

  • What are the brand and generic (non-brand) names?
  • What is the active ingredient? Can I use a generic?
  • What is this for, and how is it going to help me?
  • What are the side effects? When should I call my doctor about a side effect?
  • How and when should I use it? How much do I use?
  • Should I take it before, after or with a meal?
  • How long should I use it? Can I stop using the medicine or use less if I feel better?
  • What should I do if I miss a dose?
  • What should I do if I use too much?
  • Will this take the place of anything else I am using?
  • When will the medicine start working? How should I expect to feel?
  • How will I know if the drug is working?
  • Will I need refills?
  • Should I avoid any other medicines, dietary supplements, drinks, foods, activities or other things while taking this medication?
  • Is there anything I should watch for, like allergic reactions or side effects? What do I do if I get any?
  • Will I need any tests to check the medicine's effects (blood tests, x-rays, other)? When will I need those?
  • How and where should I keep this medicine?
  • Is there a medication guide or other patient information for this medicine?
  • Where and how can I get more written information?

If you have never taken the time to discuss your prescriptions with your pharmacist, ask him or her a few questions the next time you pick up your.

Posted: 10/09/2015 by Goshen Health
Filed under: medication, pharmacist, prescriptions

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