You may not consider your pharmacist part of your healthcare team, but they have valuable information about the medicine you are taking. Here are questions to keep in mind and tips to ensure you have all the information you need before leaving that pharmacy.
Talking to Your Pharmacist
- Is this everything you take? When you pick up your medicine(s) for yourself, or family members, ask the pharmacist to review all of the medicines you are taking (prescription, and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbals, and other supplements.) Don’t forget to tell your pharmacist about any changes to your medicines, including anything you have stopped taking.
- Consider using one pharmacy for you and everyone else in your family. This is helpful because the pharmacist can review all of your other medicines at the same time. It is easier to pick everything up or have it delivered from one location instead of multiple pharmacies. The pharmacist will be able to tell you if any dosage(s) should be adjusted and if any medicines should be discontinued or are potentially unsafe.
- Is everything okay? Let them know if you’ve had any allergic reactions or problems with medicines, dietary supplements, food, medical devices, or other medical treatments.
- Do you need anything more? Don’t be afraid to ask questions about anything that could affect your use of your medicine, such as possible side effects and what to do if you experience them; trouble swallowing; reading the print on small labels; understanding English; forgetting to take your medicine; distinguishing the look of one medicine from another; affording and paying for medicines; or transportation to the pharmacy.
- Am I forgetting anything? Before you leave the pharmacy make sure all of your questions have been answered and that you understand the directions for use and how to measure the dosage correctly including liquid medications. Always use either the measuring cup, syringe or dropper that comes with the liquid medicine.