Three Key Questions to Ask Your Pharmacist About Medication Interactions

At Island Pharmacy, we’re proud to offer our clients the best of both worlds: up-to-date professional advice and health care knowledge as well as personalized patient care. Whether it will be your first time visiting (or your eightieth!), there are three key questions to ask your pharmacist about medication interactions that most of our patients are surprised by. Today, we’re sharing an overview of these key questions.

“What is the Name of My Medication?”

Knowing the names and the intended use of your medications is important. Every medication has two names: the common name and the brand name. The brand name is used by the manufacturer to market the product; for example, Tylenol or Advil is the brand name. The generic name for Tylenol is acetaminophen and the generic name of Advil is ibuprofen. If you see more than one physician, make sure to tell your doctors about any other medications you take. This includes non-prescription drugs, herbal remedies, teas, dietary supplements, vitamins and minerals. You and your physician are equally responsible for medication safety. Keep an up-to-date list of the medications you take with their dosages and the reason you take them. This gives your doctor, pharmacist, and other healthcare professionals the ability to give you the best medical care while preventing adverse drug events.

We can provide a printed Medication Review with your complete list of medications, their intended uses, and correct instructions.

“What is My Medication Supposed to Do and How Do I Know If It’s Working?”

Talk to your health practitioner, doctor, or pharmacist about what to expect and ask questions about what you should expect from your medication. This will give you a clear idea of what the medication can do for you. You’ll know if the medications are working if you notice a change in your symptoms and also if you’re feeling more like yourself. You’ll have more energy and feel less like you’re disconnected from your daily life.

“What are Common Side Effects of My Medication?”

All medications can cause side effects, but that does not mean they are serious. Having an open conversation with your pharmacist or doctor about what to expect from your prescription will set your mind at ease. A list of potential side effects can be found on the pharmacy prescription information, and even if it’s on the long side, it’s better to speak directly to your pharmacist and ask them about the most commonly reported oppositional effects of the medication you’re taking. If you decide to stop taking your prescribed medication because of certain side effects, ask your pharmacist if there are ways to prevent them before doing so.

Bonus Question: “Does My Medication Have Any Interactions?”

Numerous non-prescription drugs can interrelate with prescribed medications. However, be aware that the interactions between the two can produce unwanted and, at times, serious side effects. Herbal products are often thought of as “natural,” but there are several that contain ingredients which can cause considerable interactions with prescription medication. Even vitamins can interact with your medications. For example, Vitamin E, and Omega 3,6,9 can thin your blood and cause bruising and bleeding if you are on ASA or prescription blood thinners for stroke or heart attack.

Chat with a Pharmacist Today to Get Your Medication-Related Questions Answered

Have more questions about what you should be clarifying with your pharmacist? Contact us today to ease your mind.

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