Managing your health requires a team approach. Many different healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, and various specialized technicians all participate in your care, but one member of that team who plays a significant role in your treatment is often overlooked and underutilized; your pharmacist.
Many people view their local pharmacist as only a person who dispenses their medications, but your pharmacist is an active member of your healthcare team. They are a valuable resource to answer questions about your medications and offer helpful tips. In addition, patients have many more interactions with their pharmacist than they do with their doctor each year, so why not take advantage of their expertise?
Here are a few ways your local pharmacist can help you:
- Information on side effects – Information about potential side effects on medication labels can often be confusing and overwhelming. Your pharmacist can explain which side effects are most common and outline who is most at risk for developing them.
- Scheduling your medications – Your pharmacist can help you map out a schedule for when to take your medications. This can be especially helpful if you are taking multiple prescriptions. The effectiveness of certain medications can be minimized when taken simultaneously with others. Some medications can also work better if taken at certain times of day or with or without food.
- Consequences for missing a dose – While skipping your regular dose of medication is not recommended, it is not always a cause for concern. How to deal with this type of situation depends on the medication and why it is being taken. Your pharmacist can explain how to handle this problem if and when it occurs.
- Storage Instructions – Properly storing your medications will greatly impact their effectiveness. Be sure to ask your pharmacist how to store them. Most medications should be kept at room temperature with low humidity. Some however, need to be refrigerated.
When choosing a pharmacist, make sure he or she will take the time to answer all your questions. If you do not have a pharmacist, Flushing Hospital has a retail pharmacy located in the lobby of the Medical Science building. Our staff will take the time to ensure that you have a full understanding of how to take your medications to ensure you properly manage your health. For more information about our pharmacy service, please call 718-353-3160.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.