Your most valuable ally in the quest for better health may be as close as your local pharmacy! Check out these five key facts your pharmacist wants you to know.
They’re here for you. Today’s pharmacists are knowledgeable and well-trained. Most earn a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, which requires six years of academic study after high school. As educated, experienced specialists, their job is to work with you and your health care provider to ensure the medications you take enhance your health. If you have questions, don’t be shy to ask them anything – because they are there to help.
Stick with one. With all your prescription drug information stored in a single location, your regular pharmacist can identify potentially harmful interactions with other drugs. He or she can also share savings opportunities, such as an available generic version of a drug, that you can then discuss with your physician.
Keep a list. Make a list of your current medications, including the name, dose, strength and how often you take it. Bring it with you to every medical appointment and pharmacy trip. It’s an easy yet very effective way to providers to review all your current medications.
Know that antibiotics are not a cure all. Antibiotics are completely ineffective against viruses, such as bronchitis, which most people don’t realize. The danger of taking unneeded antibiotics is that your body can become resistant to them – so when you actually do have a dangerous bacterial infection, the antibiotic might not work. To prevent antibiotic resistance, remember that for viruses, including colds, antibiotics will not help.
See your pharmacist for non-RX drugs. Sometimes, over-the-counter and herbal medications can interact with your other medications or have harmful side effects. Consult your pharmacist before you begin taking them.