Pharmacists are highly trained experts in medication management — and key members of your healthcare team. Pharmacists can provide advice and information on many common health topics and ailments. Are you taking full advantage of the many helpful services your pharmacist can provide? Here’s what you should know.
Manage your medications
Pharmacists are specialists with in-depth knowledge of hundreds of medications — including prescription, non-prescription (or “over-the-counter”) and supplements.
As a healthcare professional specializing in drugs, pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, and chronic health conditions, your pharmacist works with other healthcare professionals to ensure you are receiving the right drug and dose at the right time for your personal needs. This is especially important if you take more than one medication, and even more so if the medications are initiated by different prescribers.
Your pharmacist can explain the best way to take your medications, ensuring that you know the possible side effects and how to manage them, and that you understand how your medications interact with other medications, food and drink.
Treat everyday ailments
Your pharmacist does more than just dispense and advise on medications. Other services may include:
Giving flu shots.
Recommending treatment (e.g., medication, lifestyle changes) or referral to another practitioner for common conditions such as allergies, sunburn, flu, and rashes.
Screening for cholesterol.
Providing support in managing chronic conditions like diabetes, asthma, and other chronic conditions.
Helping people quit smoking by recommending over-the-counter products, prescribing medication for smoking cessation, and providing information and encouragement.
Explaining how to use healthcare aids and devices.
Providing general education on health and wellness topics.
These services can be especially helpful if you live in a rural area without ready access to a doctor, do not have a primary care provider, or if you simply need advice quickly.
If you have a question or need help with a particular health and wellness issue, ask your pharmacist if he or she can help.