“Get to Know your Pharmacist”
Nearly 6 in 10 Americans take a prescription drug, and of these, 21% take 3 or more prescription medications. Pharmacists can inform you of the ins and outs of your medications, promoting patient safety, reduce preventable harm and medication errors.
Here’s how a pharmacist can help:
- Understand what medications you are taking and why
- Know How and when to take your medications
- Recognize the side effects and know what to do when they occur
- Understand the dangers of sharing medications
- Learn how to save money on medications
Pharmacists can help you understand why your medications are prescribed and how they work. Also, they will tell you if you are taking a generic or brand-name, and whether it is a “LA”, long-acting, or “ER”, extended release medication. This will build confidence that your medications are effective and working.
Knowing how and when to take medications is directly related to their effectiveness. What happens if you miss a dose? Ask your pharmacist; you’ll get good advice.
Recognizing the side effects of medications will keep you from worrying that something is going wrong. If you know what to look for – what to expect as a result of taking the medications—you will not worry or be frightened. Furthermore, if you are taking multiple medications from multiple physicians, your pharmacist can discover possible adverse interactions and possibly intervene by advising your physician of such interaction.
Please Understand the dangers of sharing medications. Seniors can have different reactions to the same medication. A Pain reliever, muscle relaxer, or blood pressure medication can have different effects on different people, so don’t try to save money by taking someone else’s medication for the same diagnosis.
Learn how to save money on medications. Your pharmacist can do this in several ways:
- Offering to process the prescription without going through insurance
- Reviewing all your prescriptions to validate necessity of so many prescriptions
- Encourage filling 90-day prescriptions
- Dispensing a generic version of a brand-name drug
- Advising you to safely split pills when appropriate
Ask your pharmacist for a consultation. She or he will review your medications, and you will feel more comfortable as your treatment progresses.
Editor’s note: This article provided by Kaitlin Troung, R. Ph. She can be contacted at 228 207 7716