Important Questions to Ask Your Pharmacist

Odds are that as a person ages, he or she will need to take medications and the number of the medications may increase as the age increases. A thorough understanding of medications can help maximize the benefits while avoiding side effects or additional problems.  Be sure to ask your pharmacist the following questions:

  1. What is the medicine supposed to do?
  • Understand when the desired effects will occur and contact your doctor if it is not working.
  • How long will it take for it to start working?
  1. How should I use the medicine?
  • Know whether to take on an empty stomach or with meals.
  • Special instructions (Ex/ rinsing your mouth after a steroid inhaler to avoid thrush and hoarseness).
  • Avoiding certain foods or alcohol.
    • Ex/ Grapefruit juice can cause too much or too little of a drug to enter your body (Some statins to lower cholesterol, blood pressure, antiarrhythmics, antihistamines).
  1. What side effects should I watch for?
  • Know what to do if they occur and how to lessen the side effects (Ex/ eating with NSAIDS to avoid stomach problems).
  1. Is this medication safe to take with my other medications?