Billions of prescriptions are filled at retail pharmacies each year in the US, according to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Many of those prescriptions were not used correctly. Williams Bros Long Term Care Pharmacy recommends you always ask these five questions when you receive a prescription from a pharmacy consultant.
Questions for a Pharmacy Consultant
What is the medication name? In addition to the importance of you knowing what you’re taking, you must be able to tell doctors, nurses, dentists and other health care professionals what you’re taking. Ask for either the generic (industry standard) or brand name.
How should I take this medication? Timing influences medication effectiveness. Some medications can’t be taken with certain foods, beverages, alcohol or other medications. Also confirm whether you should take this medication for a short time or a longer period. Ask for instructions on certain medications, such as inhalers or insulin, to ensure you’re taking them correctly.
What about side effects? Since all medications have some side effects, this is an important question. The most common side effects may not be dangerous, but they could keep you from taking a medication correctly or taking it at all. Many side effects can be managed with changes in dos or timing, or by using food as a buffer.
What about storage? A cool, dry storage area out of the light is the best choice in most case. However, some medications should be refrigerated. Never leave medicine in the car glove box or on a windowsill and keep them with you rather than placing them in a plane’s luggage hold.
What if I miss a dose? In some cases, you should wait until the next dose is due. In others, you can double up. It really depends on the medication, so don’t take chances – always ask your pharmacy consultant.