Pharmacists today are emerging as key players on your health care team. Hundreds of years ago, people went to the pharmacy or apothecary for medical care.
By the 1900s, their role was mostly counting pills. But that’s changed.
Pharmacy programs at universities today are 5-year programs, and the new material aspiring pharmacists learn includes helping people manage their health and by looking at the whole person.
Here are six ways your pharmacist can help you stay healthy.
- Convenient vaccines. These include flu shots as well as vaccines for pneumonia – often, you don’t even need an appointment.
- Help with pill bottles and dispensers. If needed, ask your pharmacist to put your medications into easy-to-open containers (if there are no children in your home) with large-print labels. They may also be able to fill your pill dispenser for you or package medications you take regularly into daily packs so you won’t miss a dose.
- Easier refills. If you take multiple medications, your pharmacist can help you get them on the same refill schedule so that you can make fewer trips to the pharmacy.
- Affordable alternatives. Talk with your pharmacist right away if a medication costs too much. He or she may be able to substitute a generic prescription or call your doctor to find another option.
- Consultations for chronic health conditions. While your doctor is the expert about your condition—diagnosing, developing a treatment plan and evaluating your health—your pharmacist is the medication expert who can sit down with you and discuss what your medicines do and how to take them for best results.
- Advice about over-the-counter remedies and supplements. Thinking about a new natural remedy or a vitamin or mineral supplement? Ask if it could interact with medications you’re already taking. It may be fine, or you may need a different dose or a different product, or you may be better off not taking it, so you’ll have peace of mind.
Source: KK Publishers