You probably don’t give much thought to your pharmacist. He or she is always there to fill your prescriptions and make sure you know how and when to take them. But a pharmacist’s job is a lot more complicated than filling bottles of pills! October is American Pharmacists Month, which is a great time to learn more about everything else a pharmacist can do to help you achieve and maintain good health.
Pharmacists are excellent sources of information about medications and how they might interact with each other and with various foods. A pharmacist’s job includes checking a patient’s medication list to make sure that there are no potential adverse reactions lurking in the mix. He or she is also responsible for advising patients about potential side effects of various medications, and steps the patient can take to minimize their risk of experiencing those side effects.
Pharmacists can also assist patients by recommending products that can help them quit smoking, reduce their cholesterol, or lose weight. Many patients are surprised to learn that health problems like these don’t always require a prescription medication. Your average pharmacist is delighted to answer questions about these issues and offer over-the-counter solutions.
An area of growing interest for people is dietary supplements. Taking various daily supplements can ease a wide range of symptoms and help you feel better. However, there are numerous medication-supplement interactions that your pharmacist can alert you to. All you have to do is tell your pharmacist what medications you take and what kind of supplement you’re considering. If there is a potential interaction, your pharmacist may be able to offer a safer alternative supplement. It’s as easy as that – you just have to ask.
Good pharmacists are thrilled to answer patient questions, because they like to know that their patients are engaged and concerned about their own health. So don’t be afraid to ask!
In fact, this American Pharmacists Month, Melrose Pharmacy challenges you to ask your pharmacist a question about your health or medications that’s been bugging you for a while. We are always happy to address our patients’ concerns; come by the pharmacy and ask us your burning question during American Pharmacists Month!