Pharmacists are a valuable resource for patients when they have questions about their medications. Being the drug experts means that pharmacists are well-educated in both prescription and non-prescription medications. If you or someone you know have any questions about your medications and how to take them safely, contact your local pharmacist!
When speaking with your pharmacist regarding your medications, it is very important to give him/her any information about your health and current medications. Things to inform your pharmacist about include: any food or drug allergies, if you have any restrictions that could influence your ability to take medications (i.e. difficulty swallowing), a list of all your current medications and health conditions, and if you are pregnant or may become pregnant, etc.
When asking your pharmacist, or any other healthcare professional for that matter, a question regarding your care it can be helpful to write down a list of questions you want to ask them. Examples of questions to ask your pharmacist:
- What are the brand and generic names?
- What is this for, and how is it going to help me?
- How and when should I use it? How much do I use?
- 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 or use too much?
- When will the medicine start working? How should I expect to feel?
When talking with your pharmacist about your medications, be sure you write down any important information they tell you, take home and read any pamphlets of information provided to you, and make sure you have the pharmacy’s phone number in case you need to call back for further questions! Once you get home, there are additional steps you can take to ensure you are taking your medications safely and properly. Tips for safe medication use at-home include: double checking the label on the bottle to make sure you are taking the correct medication, using proper measuring devices (syringes, medication spoons, etc.) to get the correct dose, and following proper storage directions for the medication (refrigeration, away from light, etc.).
For more helpful tips on how to talk to your pharmacist and take your medications safely, visit www.fda.gov/usemedicinesafely