What Your Pharmacist Wants You to Know
If you’re over the age of 65, you probably frequent your local pharmacy. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, approximately 89 percent of older adults take at least one prescription medication and 54 percent of older adults take four or more prescription medications. While these statistics might not be alarming, what is frightening is that about half of prescription medications are taken incorrectly.
October is American Pharmacists Month. It’s a great time to get to know your pharmacist better and to learn more about their area of expertise. Most of us think of the pharmacist as the people who dispense medications. Yet, pharmacists have more to offer than a friendly smile as you pick up your medications. They want to have a conversation with you so you understand your prescriptions and avoid drug-interactions that could send you to the emergency room. As we celebrate our pharmacists this month, here are a few things your pharmacist wants you to know.
Pharmacists Review Your Medications
Your pharmacist is an important second set of eyes and plays a critical role in the prevention of adverse drug interactions. Before a pharmacist fills your prescription, they take the time to review your medication order. They check dosage and frequency, ensuring your physician didn’t make any errors. They also check against other prescription medications so that your new prescription doesn’t negatively interact with current medications.
Pharmacists Need to Know About Over-the-Counter Medications
In addition to review your prescription medications, pharmacists also need to know about any over-the-counter medications or supplements you take on a regular basis. This information helps them check for adverse drug interactions, as certain over-the-counter medications could work against your prescription medications.
It’s Best to Stick to One Pharmacy
Many older adults see multiple specialists in order to manage multiple chronic conditions. Not every doctor is aware of new medications another doctor may have prescribed. When you stick to one pharmacy, you ensure that all prescription medications filter through one place. The pharmacist can then monitor all prescriptions, regardless of which doctor prescribed which medication.
There May Be a Generic Option
Pharmacists know the cost of prescription medications. Doctors aren’t always aware of the cost, nor do they have the time to verify what your insurance covers. Your pharmacist most likely will have that information and be able to inform you of your total cost. They can even point you to a generic form, which are generally cheaper and just as effective. However, if your doctor prescribed a specific brand name, then the pharmacist may not be able to substitute a generic form.
Pharmacists Are Well-Educated
Pharmacists are highly educated individuals. A Doctor of Pharmacy degree (Pharm.D.) is required for pharmacists to sit for their board exams. In addition to their degree, pharmacists must complete continuing education hours to maintain their license. Pharmacy technicians must pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam. Both pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are experts in their field. Rest assured that you are in great hands when you visit your local pharmacists.
If you are an older adult and are struggling with your medications, know that Visiting Angels Fort Worth is here for you. We offer medication reminders as a part of our senior home care services. We are honored to be one of the top senior home care companies in the Fort Worth area and would be even more honored to work with you. To learn more about us, please contact us today by calling 817-877-1616.