Do you have any questions for the pharmacist?
Who hasn’t heard that question when they’re at the pharmacy counter. Most of us say no and leave as quickly as we can. After listening to a Pharm.D. (doctor of pharmacy) on Rachael Ray’s cooking show – who knew – we may need to rethink our answer to that question. Pharmacists are smart healthcare professionals who are there to share plenty of necessary and valuable information with us. Plus, their advice is a heck of a lot cheaper than your prescription – it’s free!
So, the doctor of pharmacy is in. Here are her four great tips:
1 – A serious concern for many patients is the enormous cost of drugs today. There are some very high priced medications we simply cannot afford if we still want to buy ingredients and cook any of Rachael’s recipes !
Here’s where your pharmacist can truly be a wonderful advocate for you. ASK her to help you find a medication that’s more reasonably priced. Because she’s a knowledgable healthcare professional she can check on the bioequivalency of the less expensive drug to be sure it’s equally effective. She may need to call your doctor and clear it first. It’s worth the wait to potentially save a considerable amount of money.
2 – ASK her how to properly administer certain medications. If it’s a topical (i.e.,creams, drops, nasal spray, etc.), it’s best to learn the most effective way to put it on or in your person. Who knew there was a better way to apply eyedrops?!
Please don’t hesitate to ask how best to use/apply any pharmaceutical product. Healthcare professionals may assume you know, but that’s not necessarily true. Early in my career as a medical assistant we had a patient who spread a prescribed suppository on crackers – I’m not kidding – and didn’t understand why it didn’t work! Seriously, your pharmacist can help you get the most benefit from your medications when applied in the way it was intended.
3 – If you’re buying an over the counter (OTC) product for a cold, for instance, a pharmacist can help you understand the ingredient list – basically, what’s in it.
All ingredients are listed on OTC packaging in addition to the directions and uses. Why do you want to know that? Because not all OTC products are the same. You may need one that doesn’t have acetaminophen (Tylenol) or one that actually does. She can assist you in finding the appropriate product for your particular needs.
4 – Get to know your pharmacist. Ask for her name. If you use the same pharmacy in your neighborhood repeatedly, she can be a valuable asset to your continuing good health.
And, one more tip from me. If after leaving the pharmacy, you may still have a question or two. Call and ask for the pharmacist – now that you know her name – and get clear on how to use your medication properly. Even if you’ve already asked at the pharmacy don’t be shy about calling and asking again. Often by the time you plan to use the medication you have forgotten what she said in the first place! ASK and ask again. It’s your health and wellbeing we’re talking about here! It couldn’t hurt.