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Thursday, 6 June 2013

What You Can Learn from Your Pharmacist


In terms of health care, your pharmacist is your last stop between your doctor and any prescription drugs you take. Subsequently, they're trained to answer all kinds of questions about drug interactions, types of drugs, and plenty more. With that in mind, here are questions every should ask their pharmacist before picking up medications.
Prescription drugs are a complicated business, and drugs interact with you, each other, and even your diet in all sorts of ways. So, it's important to have a firm grasp on what's really going on with those medications.

First: Get to Know Your Pharmacist
You and your pharmacist are going to have a longstanding relationship, so it's good to take the time to get to know them before you choose your pharmacist. Just like you would with a doctor

They Can Tell You About Your Prescriptions and How They Interact
Anytime you get a new prescription you need to talk to your pharmacist about it. You should have already done this with your doctor, but your pharmacist is trained to really understand what exactly a drug does, how it interacts with other drugs, and potential problems you might come across. This might include information your doctor doesn't know
Certain prescription drugs can interact with the food you eat, or even any holistic or herbal supplements you might take. So, even if you've talked with your doctor about what a prescription drug is, it's still worth speaking with your pharmacist as well. Doctors aren't always aware of every single possible drug interaction. So, if you have a lot of prescriptions, especially if they're from different doctors, it's worth discussing the issue with your pharmacist because they have a lot more information than your doctor does
In general, your pharmacist should notice right away that a prescription could potentially interact badly with another one, but if you're worried about it then it's always worth the couple of seconds to make sure that you, your doctor, and your pharmacist are all on the same page.
Finally, it might seem like common sense, but when you pick up your prescription it's good to take a look in the bottle to make sure everything's the same. Your pharmacist can tell you why
Sometimes, a prescription drug manufacturer might simply change the shape of a pill, but it's also entirely possible your prescription may be been mixed up with something else. So, before you leave, take a look inside the pill bottle and make sure you recognize what you're walking out with.

They Can Give You Information About (Cheaper) Generic Options
Generic prescription drugs are usually significantly cheaper than name brand drugs. In most cases, you can supplement a generic for name brand prescription and never know the difference. However, they're often not produced under the same kinds of conditions as name brand pills, so it's good to also ask your pharmacist a little about their history

As Fortune points out, all sorts of different issues can arise from generics:
Your pharmacist should have a pretty good idea of where generics come from and how they're made. So, ask them for a recommendation, and if they'd take it themselves. Generics are supposed to be of the same quality as the name brand, but that's simply not always the case, and your pharmacist should be able to help you navigate the pros and cons of a particular generic.
 

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