A pharmacist is often in close proximity to one’s home, just a few miles away in a community establishment and likely someone whom you see or talk to consistently, a trustworthy, reliable health care professional available to answer your questions.
Pharmacists possess specific training to assist you in taking care of and improving your health, while also working in unison with your doctor or nurse to supply you with all of the relevant information about your condition.
Andrew Hanna, a pharmacist from Cornwall, Ontario, and active member of the Champlain Regional Pharmacist Committee, shares some of the reasons as to why it is vital for people to form a professional relationship and understanding with their local pharmacist.
Managing Your Medicine
Your medicine might be filled with perplexing instructions or wording, but a pharmacist can discuss the prescription with you, Andrew Hanna says, determining what it is for, how to best use it, what side effects can be encountered, and how to treat said side effects. Additionally, your pharmacist can clear up any confusion as to how you should take your medicine and offer solutions to potential problems. Suggestions might include a daily pill box that ensures your medicine is taken at the right time and in the ideal dosage. Over-the-counter medicines can also be covered with your pharmacist, as he or she can advise you on their safety and effectiveness, especially in combination with your existing prescription.
A Wealth of Health Benefits
Speaking with your pharmacist routinely, you can better identify and deal with health concerns, Andrew Hanna says. When you get your blood pressure tested at the pharmacy, for example, it is recommended that you share the results with your pharmacist because he or she can elaborate on any risks of high blood pressure, aid you in monitoring it, and guide you to medical care if necessary. Also, your pharmacist can communicate with your doctor to give you the top treatment solutions. Other health conditions, like asthma, diabetes, and the flu can be managed with the help of your pharmacist, whether that is through immunization means or learning how to properly utilize health equipment on your own. It is not in your best interest to attempt using these tools without receiving sufficient instructions from your pharmacist.
Having an established relationship with your pharmacist allows him or her to be aware of your medical history, Andrew Hanna suggests. This information is essential when the time comes to grab a new prescription, since possible issues, such as allergies or intolerances, can be avoided with a conversation. Other medical conditions will also be documented by the pharmacist, which will give them the crucial knowledge to keep you from being negatively impacted by a new prescription. Any separate medications that you are taking are certain to be observed by the pharmacist as well and it will be crucial in letting them figure out how the new prescription mixes in. A thorough medical history will make your pharmacist privy to any lifestyle habits (caffeine consumption, food diet, nicotine, and alcohol use) that might trouble your condition and efficacy of the medication.
We are perhaps at our most vulnerable state after experiencing discharge from a hospital because there might be new medications prescribed by the doctor who performed the examination. Inform your pharmacist of this development, particularly if any of your previous medications were stopped, so that you can clarify what sort of changes will occur from here on out. Your pharmacist can explain how the new medication will work, increases or decreases to the normal dosage, any side effects that might arise from the medicine taken in the hospital, and whether specific medication has been discontinued, be it prescription drugs, vitamins, herbal medicines, or over-the-counter products.
Final Thoughts from Andrew Hanna
Knowing your pharmacist puts you one step ahead of any medical complications or concerns, Andrew Hanna observes, and by providing essential information, you enable him or her to better serve your overall health needs. Notify your pharmacist of your condition, medicine changes, and general health anxieties constantly.