Top Questions To Ask Your Pharmacist

african american pharmacist( — When getting a new prescription filled, it is always helpful to take a little time to speak with the pharmacist about your new medication. There is a lot of information floating around about prescription drugs, and it can sometimes be difficult to decipher it on your own.

Yes, a lot of helpful information can be found in the patient information included with the medication, but it is always helpful to ask questions to an actual human as well.

Here are a few important questions to ask the pharmacist that will help get your therapy off to a great start.

What is this medication for?

Not only does this question ensure that the physician wrote the correct prescription for your condition, but it also helps make sure that the pharmacist filled the prescription with the right medication. A very common mistake in filling a prescription occurs when two medication names look alike or sound alike. These kinds of mistakes can easily be caught at the time of consultation. Chances are, the pharmacist won’t try to diagnose you at the counter. But they can let you know what the medication is commonly used for. By getting a consultation, you will find out which medication you are getting and you can catch the pharmacist’s mistake in case you are being dispensed the wrong medicine.

When should I take this medication?

It may not seem very important, but medication timing can be crucial with some drugs. There are some medications that can prevent you from sleeping well at night, that can make you drowsy during the day, or even make you go to the bathroom more frequently. Timing can be very important to maintain minimal interruption to your daily routine.

What are the side effects for this medication?

It is important to be aware of any adverse effects that may be caused by your new medication. While some side effects may be commonly reported among people who use a certain medication, it is also important to be able to recognize more serious side effects that may require immediate medical attention. While every person is different and may experience the same thing, it is good to understand what should be expected from a medication, and what occurrences could signal something more urgent.

By Dr. Crystal Riley, BDO Pharmacy Expert

A graduate of the Howard University School of Pharmacy, Dr. Crystal A. Riley has spent the majority of her career involved in drug information services for not only healthcare organizations and practitioners, but for patients as well. While her career has shifted towards researching healthcare policy and quality standards, Dr. Riley still actively seeks opportunities to keep patients informed and aware of medication-related issues to help improve their overall quality of life.