Most people think of their pharmacist simply as the person who fills their prescription – but pharmacists are trained medical professionals who have earned their Pharm.D.
As part of their education, pharmacists study medications, including how they work within the body, how they interact, and even how they treat diseases on a molecular level. What this means is that your local pharmacist is a fantastic resource.
Your pharmacist can help answer questions about any medications you are taking, provide safety information, and help monitor your side effects, among many other things. So, let’s take a closer look at how your pharmacist can be a resource for managing your health.
1. Your Pharmacist Can Help You Safely Use Medications
Pharmacists are an important part of your healthcare team – especially if you have a medical condition that requires you to take prescription medications.
Your pharmacist is able to provide you with clear instructions on how to take your medications, including:
- If your medications should be taken with a meal or on an empty stomach
- How frequently and at what times of the day you should take a medication
- When and how you should discontinue taking a medication
- How to properly store your medications
Finding Drug Interactions
Because pharmacists stay current on the latest pharmacology research, they can help you identify potential interactions between medications. This is important for patients who take multiple medications and for patients who see multiple doctors.
For example, a patient may be prescribed drugs by both their cardiologist and their primary physician. Both doctors may not always have complete information on what medications the other has prescribed. However, your pharmacist will be able to tell you:
- If these medications have potential interactions that you should be aware of
- If any over-the-counter medications or supplements that you’re taking can also interact with your prescriptions
- How to tell if you’re experiencing a drug interaction or simply normal side effects
Of course, one of the best ways you can help your doctors and your pharmacist is by providing them with up to date and accurate information. To help, create a complete list of your medications and take a copy with you to the pharmacy.
Related Article: What You Need to Know about Drug Interactions
Provide Your Pharmacist With A List Of Your Medications
Whenever you go to pick-up prescriptions, bring your full list of the prescription, and non-prescription, medications that you’re taking. Also include any vitamins or other nutritional supplements you take.
Give or show a copy of this list to your pharmacist. This is especially important if you don’t always fill your prescriptions at the same pharmacy.
Using this list, your pharmacist will have a much clearer picture of your medication history. As a result, they can more easily identify potential drug interactions, and suggest alternatives. So, keep a list handy and be sure to bring it along with you the next time you visit the pharmacy.
Keep track of your Rx medications with the ScriptSave WellRx Medicine Chest
2. Your Pharmacist Can Help Identify Or Explain Potential Side Effects
While your pharmacist is a great resource for identifying potential drug interactions, they’re also able to tell you about medication side effects.
Pharmacists not only spend years studying how medications work, but they also stay updated on current drug information. This means they have a wealth of knowledge on what you can expect when you start taking a new medication. Your pharmacist can tell you:
- What side effects you might experience
- Which side effects are normal
- How long you can expect a side effect to last
- When a side effect is serious and requires further attention
Because medications often work in complex ways, and our understanding of how they work can change as we learn more about them, pharmacists are a go-to resource for the most recent and thorough drug information. That means your pharmacist can literally be a life saver.
Related Article: Side Effects of Statin Drugs
Talk With Your Pharmacist About New Prescriptions
When you start taking a new prescription drug, always ask your pharmacist about potential side effects. They’ll be able to keep you informed on what you can expect, and they’re able to provide you with additional details about potentially life-threatening side effects.
Your pharmacist might even know of a newly available alternative drug with fewer side effects than the one you’re currently taking. You can then ask your doctor if it’s an option to help treat your condition.
3. Your Pharmacist Can Help You Manage Your Medications
If you have multiple prescriptions, then you know how difficult it can be to always keep track of all of your medications. While you can’t take your pharmacist home with you, they are an excellent resource for helping you to manage your prescriptions.
Your pharmacist can provide tips on how to carefully monitor your medications, and can share what resources are available to you. They may even recommend options like:
Just as importantly, your pharmacist is able to tell you what to do if you miss a dose of your medication. Depending on the type of medication, size of the dose, and how long it’s been since you last took it, your pharmacist will help you decide on the best course of action.
Set pill and refill reminders with the ScriptSave WellRx App
Ask Your Pharmacist About Medication Options
New medications are being developed and then approved by the FDA every month. If you’re taking multiple medications, your pharmacist may know of newer alternatives. This can help reduce the dose or number of medications you take to treat certain conditions.
Regularly check in with your pharmacist to see if they know of any new options to make your treatment easier to manage. You can then follow-up with your primary physician to see if this is a good option for you.
Find Rx Discounts with ScriptSave WellRx
We’re here to help you find the lowest cash prices for your prescriptions. Download the ScriptSave WellRx mobile app, search for your drug, and find the lowest prices at the nearest pharmacies. Then, just show your phone to your pharmacist and they’ll take care of the rest.
Don’t have a smartphone? No problem! Just search for your prescriptions on our website, find the best price, and then download, print, or email your Rx coupon. You can also have a ScriptSave WellRx discount card mailed to your home!