Those professionals behind the pharmacy counter are patient-focused healthcare providers with training, knowledge, and compassion. Your pharmacy team may be professionals in your healthcare who you speak with the most.
They may even be able to recognize your name before you remember theirs. That’s ok! These experts don’t mind if you ever know their names. If there were things pharmacists would want you to know, this list might be it:
1. Take It All Gone
You’ve taken five days’ worth of antibiotics and steroids to beat that strep throat and you’re feeling like yourself again. With only two days left of your prescription, you may think, “What's the harm in skipping the last two days?” For starters, your immune system! The number of days in a treatment plan is not a guesstimate. Years of scientific research goes into why and how a prescription should be written. Unless the medication label, pharmacist, or prescriber specifically state otherwise, please, finish the entire prescribed amount.
2. Pediatric Problems
When it comes to giving kids medication, it can feel overwhelming. The healthcare professionals in your pharmacy will have some tips and tricks to help. For example, some of the liquid medicines taste better when they’ve been chilled for a few hours while other liquids become too thick to pour, let alone swallow! If the child struggles to drink from a dosing cup, ask the pharmacy for an oral syringe and dispense the dose between the child’s inner cheek and gums. Oh, and if your child prefers bubblegum over grape, the pharmacy team wants to know that so they can mix the medicine appropriately.
3. Meds for Marmaduke
That’s right. Your pharmacy might be able to provide your family pet with medication at a lower cost than the veterinary clinic. The veterinary clinics have smaller supply contracts with manufacturers and warehouses, and they may not be given the best wholesale price because of it. The larger contracts pharmacies have allows for the same anti-parasitic, antibiotic, or anti-epileptic drugs to be ordered at a lower overhead. Some medicine prescribed to animals is the exact same medicine prescribed to humans! While not all pet prescriptions are designated only for animal use, not all human over the counter (OTC) drugs are safe for a pets’ consumption. The most common example of this is probably glucosamine chondroitin. Both Dad and Dog may use it for their worn-out knees, but they shouldn’t use the same bottle. Your pharmacist can advise which human-grade OTC supplement is or is not safe for your furry and feathered friends.
4. Bathrooms and Kitchens
Ironically, the medicine cabinet may be the worst place in your house to store prescriptions and medications. The heat and humidity of showers in a brightly-lit bathroom—even if it’s ventilated—combines all of the least drug-friendly environmental aspects into one. Medications should be safely stored away from children and animals in a cool and dry area, protected from light, heat, and air. Unless they need to be refrigerated, medications should stay out of kitchen storage for similar reasons.
5. When in doubt: Please A.S.K.!
Your pharmacist has had extensive training in the pharmaceutical, chemistry, biology, and healthcare sciences. They want to help you understand your medications! If there are ever any questions about prescriptions for you, your child, or pet, just remember to A.S.K. – Actively Seek Knowledge! The healthcare professionals on your pharmacy staff are there for you. Ask the “embarrassing” question. Confirm you understand the directions. Know how your body might react. Even if you think it’s “too silly,” let the team assist you. They willingly studied this information. Let them share it with you when you need it.
Many people visit their pharmacy every 30 to 90 days to pick up refills. Do people visit their prescribing provider that often? The most frequent health conversations happen between pharmacy workers and their patients. Pharmacy employees want to provide the utmost of care.
Use their professional acumen and seek their advice on all things related to medications or prescriptions. It is worth your time to pursue points from the pros who can help. When you talk to your pharmacy team, not only are you speaking with specific medical-health professionals, but you are also not paying a charge for an appointment with a specialist.