October is American Pharmacist Month – Know your Pharmacist—Know your Medicine

October is American Pharmacist MonthYour Pharmacist Role
Every day pharmacists are responsible for ensuring proper medication and therapeutic treatments are supplied to their patients, however, pharmacists do a lot more than just dispense prescription medications. They give sound advice on all sorts of questions and concerns that patients may have, as well as provide priceless information on topics that patients might not even have considered. For example, pharmacists provide recommendations and guidance on issues like drug interactions, efficacy, side effects, disease prevention, tobacco cessation, diabetes management, vitamin supplementation, immunizations and much more.

Accessibility & Knowledge
The idea of needing guidance on something as life threatening as drug interactions and contraindications, or as looming as a drug allergy, should make us stop and take pause that a pharmacists is one of the only medical professionals that we can personally talk to without an appointment. In other words, they are the most accessible of all healthcare providers. Depending on the circumstances, this is something that most patients could benefit from and should utilize more often.

Pharmacists receive six to eight years of training in an accredited pharmacology program. Along with in-depth courses on pharmacotherapy (treatment with drugs), pharmacoepidemiology (utilization and effects of drugs) and medical chemistry (chemical synthesis and drug development), pharmacists are well trained in communication courses. They have learned the intricacies and the critical importance of engaging with patients.

Using One Pharmacy is Always Best
Comprehensive medication therapy management relies on good communication with your pharmacists. If patients have prescriptions being filled at more than one pharmacy, the potential for a mistake or adverse reaction increases greatly. When you know your pharmacists, they know your medicine; they are familiar with exactly what you are taking, and they can warn you of any concerns or make suggestions for a better outcome.

If your child went to an urgent care facility and received a prescription for amoxicillin, but your pharmacists was aware that they were allergic to penicillin, he or she would immediately let the physician know that they need to prescribe an alternative to that antibiotic in particular. Depending on the severity of your child’s allergy, this could be life saving. Your pharmacist can alert you of red flags, assist you with many uncertainties that you may have, and they can offer options and alternatives for you to discuss with your doctor.

In recent years, it has become more and more common for people to take herbal supplements to help fight viruses, alleviate hormonal imbalances or for improving memory. However, even something as simple as taking herbal supplements can be dangerous. For example, if you are taking Ginkgo Biloba for improving mental capacity and increasing blood flow to the brain it is contraindicated if taken along with a blood thinning prescription like warfarin (Coumadin), because it could cause potentially life-threatening bleeding. It is always best to tell your doctor about every thing that you are taking. Along with telling them about any supplements or over-the-counter medicines that you are taking, you should also consult with your pharmacist before adding any new prescriptions or supplements to your regimen. This is the primary reason why it is so important to fill prescriptions at one pharmacy, so that they know exactly what your routine entails.   It is a better idea to use one pharmacy as opposed to utilizing multiple pharmacies, where essential information can easily be overlooked. It’s all about communication.

Naples Pharmacy
The pharmacist at Naples Pharmacy will always be glad and well prepared to help you. Naples Pharmacy takes great pride in assisting every patient’s individual needs and concerns. Whether it’s explaining why you shouldn’t drink grapefruit juice with certain prescription medications, describing how statins help lower cholesterol, understanding your sulfa allergy and risk factors, or recommending the best over-the-counter nasal decongestant, they are ready to get to know you better, and to be the expert on your medication therapy management. Naples Pharmacy is happy to be a part of your healthcare and wellness team. Let us help build a thorough communication level and quality relationship with you and your loved ones today.

Naples Pharmacy
(239) 231-3026
848 1st Avenue North, Suite 120, Naples, FL 34102
(Next to Wynn’s Market)

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