Six Questions to Ask Your Pharmacist

Sometimes you can’t avoid getting a prescription, so you want to be prepared. Make sure you ask these key questions before starting your medicine.

August 15, 2016 | HF Healthy Living Team

Questions may often come up at your doctor visits, but did you know you can also ask your pharmacist questions about your medicine?

Make sure you know the ins and outs of your new medicine before beginning treatment. Take a look below to find out six crucial questions to ask your pharmacist before you start your prescription.

What is the name of the medicine?

What is the name
of the medicine?

 

What is the name of the medicine?

Always know the full name of your medicine and if it is the generic or brand name version. Also, make sure you know exactly what the medicine should be doing for you.

 

Are there any side effects?

Are there any side effects?

 

Are there any side effects?

Find out if there are any side effects and what you should do if they occur. The wrong mix of foods or drinks can prevent a medicine from working, cause side effects, or even make existing symptoms worse. Make sure you are clear on what you can and cannot eat, drink, and do.

 

How and when do I take it?

How and when do I take it?

 

How and when do I take it?

Many patients are not clear on how to take their medicine, so don’t be afraid to ask about anything you don’t understand. Your pharmacist is there to help.

 

What if I miss a dose?

What if I miss a dose?

 

What if I miss a dose?

All prescriptions are not created equal. You may need to double up on a dose, or skip one, so make sure to ask instead of taking an educated guess. Most medicines should also be kept in a cool, dry place, so be cautious about where you leave them. Keep them somewhere you will remember to take them.

 

Will it work safely with my other prescriptions?

Will it work safely with
my other prescriptions?

 

Will it work safely with my other prescriptions?

Be aware of other medicines you are on before starting a new one. An over-the-counter drug may seem harmless, but it might mean that it shouldn’t be taken with your prescription.

 

When should it start working, and what about refills?

When should it start working,
and what about refills?

 

When should it start working, and what about refills?

Be aware of when your medicine should start to kick in. Also, make sure you know when your medicine will run out, and if it is necessary to get a refill. Always contact your doctor if you think you need to switch your prescription or stop treatment for any reason.

 
 

© 2016 HF Management Services, LLC.

Healthfirst is the brand name used for products and services provided by one or more of the Healthfirst group of affiliated companies.

This health information or program is for educational purposes only and not intended to treat, diagnose, or act as a substitute for medical advice from your provider. Consult your healthcare provider and always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.

Sources
“Frequently Asked Questions,” Office of Personal Management. Accessed June 17, 2016.
https://www.opm.gov/faqs/QA.aspx?fid=fd635746-de0a-4dd7-997d-b5706a0fd8d2&pid=d36573bc-b3d3-4ff5-8640-8886e58f7d6d

“Avoid Food-Drug Interactions,” FDA. Accessed June 21, 2016.
http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/EnsuringSafeUseofMedicine/GeneralUseofMedicine/UCM229033.pdf

“Storing your medicines,” Medline Plus. Accessed June 22, 2016
https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/patientinstructions/000534.htm

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