10 Ways You Didn’t Know How Your Pharmacist Can Help You
Pharmacists are medical experts and an under utilized healthcare resource. Pharmacists know medications and there effect on the body. If you have a question regarding a medication, you may be able to consult with your pharmacist more easily than with your doctor.
Medication Price Check
Fortunately, in 2018 removed the “gag orders” that previously prevented pharmacists from letting you know about generic or lower priced drugs. Granted, any medication change needs to be approved by your doctor, however many times your pharmacist can call your doctor on your behalf.
Pharmacists are also familiar with insurance plans and co-pays involved in purchasing brand name and generic drugs. They may even suggest purchasing higher dose medicine pills and pill splitting strategies.
The What & Why of Medication
If you have any questions on your prescription, your pharmacist can help you understand how the medication works, how it will affect your body, what disease it is commonly used to treat, how to take the medicine as directed, and potential side effects from taking the medicine.
Pharmacists know more about the interaction of medicines than your doctor. About “15 times the pharmacology” knowledge of anyone else, including physicians, says Mark Riley, president of the National Community Pharmacists Association.
Checking For Drug Interactions
If you are taking more than one drug, your pharmacist can check for harmful drug interactions. This can happen if you are seeing multiple doctors who are each prescribing different drugs.
Pharmacists may offer a variety of vaccinations, including flu, pneumonia, diphtheria, tetanus, shingles, human papillomavirus hepatitis A and B depending upon the state in which you live.
Pharmacists may offer a variety of blood tests for cholesterol, blood glucose, HIV and hepatitis, again depending upon which state you reside in.
Your pharmacist can also advise you on the use of Over The Counter (OTC) drugs. There effectiveness for treating minor health issues and any possible drug interactions with your prescription drugs.
Blood Pressure and Glucose Monitoring
Your pharmacist can recommend what blood pressure monitoring device to purchase. And show you how to use it. The same is true for Blood Glucose monitors.
Help With Minor Health Problems
Pharmacists can help with minor health problems like sunburn, insect bites, head lice, warts, headaches, cold & flu, eczema, constipation and diarrhea. They can suggest an OTC and provide directions on how to use it and for how long. If the pharmacists feels the issue is more than minor or something they are not comfortable treating, they would recommend seeing a doctor.
Some pharmacies offer pill packaging for medications.
General Health Advice
Pharmacist can offer general advice on diet, nutrition and exercise.