Communicating with a Pharmacist
Misty Vo is a pharmacist at Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa.
Question: I don’t want to waste my pharmacist’s time, but sometimes I have questions and concerns about my medications. Any tips on how to maximize communication?
Answer: You ask a very important question. Modern medications are very effective and generally safe. But, when mixed with other prescription, over the counter or herbal medications there is a possibility of drug interactions that may be harmful or decrease the effectiveness of some or all of the medications. Additionally as we age, our bodies change the way drugs are metabolized or inactivated.
You shouldn't be concerned about "wasting" your pharmacist’s time. It is their responsibility to see that you know how to use your medications safely. Be sure to share information about your current health conditions and all other medications you are taking, including things for colds, vitamins, and other natural health food type items. Be sure to share if you are using other prescribers and pharmacies to complete the picture. And don't forget about medications you bought over the internet or in Mexico. Your pharmacist will be happy to help you make the best use of your medications.
Also, I recommend you keep a personal medication record that is current and updated with the above information. It is very helpful for your pharmacist, physician and particularly if you need to go to the hospital or emergency room. Current medication information is critical for your caregivers to prevent unintended errors in your treatment.
The American Pharmacists Association says: "Communicate before you medicate".
Reviewed November 2010