“Do you have any questions for the pharmacist?” If you’ve picked up prescriptions, you have been asked this question. Many people say no without a second thought, but if you are getting a new medication that you’ve never taken, or at least not recently, here are three questions to ask your pharmacist.
1. Is This Prescription Safe to Take with My Other Medications?
Medications can interact with each other, either increasing or decreasing their effectiveness, or even making you sick. If you get all your meds from the same pharmacy, they will have a record of your prescriptions and can alert you to any possible interactions. However, you should also let the pharmacist know if you are taking any over-the-counter medications, herbal products, vitamins or supplements as they can cause interactions as well.
2. What Should I Do if I Miss a Dose?
Dosing for some medications is more time-sensitive than for others. You should know what to do if you accidentally skip a scheduled dose of your medication. In some cases, our pharmacist may suggest you take the missed dose when you remember, or to take it at the next scheduled time. With other medications, they may recommend you double up on the next dose. Knowing what to do will ensure the greatest effectiveness. (Tip: If you are on multiple medications, learn more about MediBubble®, our medication management service that streamlines the process so you don’t miss doses.)
3. How Long Do I Have to Take This Medication?
Some prescriptions are needed for short time periods, like antibiotics to treat an infection, while others may be needed for the long-term. Some meds can be taken only as needed, while others must be taken on schedule until you’ve used the entire supply. It’s important to know the difference so the medication will work as intended.
Other Questions to Ask Your Pharmacist
You should feel free to ask to speak with the pharmacist about any questions you have about your medication. You want to make sure you understand the directions for how and when to use the prescription. Many meds also come with labels for warnings about sun sensitivity, drinking alcohol, or driving or operating heavy machinery, to name a few. Ask our pharmacist if any of these are unclear so you can make sure you are using the medication safely.
Remember, there are no silly questions. Our goal is to make sure you understand what prescription you are taking, why and how so it can work effectively. If you have questions once you are home, give us a call and one of our pharmacists can help you.