January 9, 2019

Educate Before You Medicate – 5 Questions to Ask Your Pharmacist

5 questions to ask your pharmacist - medication counselingHave you ever picked up a prescription, gotten home and realized you have questions about it? Next time you leave the pharmacy, leave with your prescription and your questions answered when you ask your pharmacist these five essential questions.

Prescriptions can be confusing – especially if you have to take more than one (at the same time!). We might be biased but behind every Mission Health pharmacy counter is a team of kind, passionate, willing and extremely knowledgeable pharmacists – and they aren’t only there to fill your prescriptions.

Pharmacists can answer health-related questions about medications, such as what foods, drinks, activities or other drugs could have an effect on certain medications or what to do if you miss a dose. Even if you don’t have a prescription, you can still ask your pharmacist for recommendations for over-the-counter medications.

Opt in for medication counseling

When you pick up your prescription at a Mission Health pharmacy, you have the option to “opt in” or out of medication counseling. Opting in to counseling provides you with the chance to feel more comfortable with your medication and understand exactly what you’re taking. Your pharmacist can better inform you about your prescriptions and gauge your level of knowledge about your prescription or treatment plan to better assist you.

5 Questions to Ask Your Pharmacist

Whether or not you decide to engage in medication counseling, there are five questions you can ask your pharmacist about your prescription. These questions, according to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), are:

1 – What is the name of your medication and how or when should you take it?
2 – What information does your pharmacist need to know about the other medicines you are taking?
3 – When should you take this medication?
4 – What are the common side effects of this medicine?
5 – What should you do if you miss a dose or take a dose incorrectly?

You should never feel like you’re bothering your pharmacist if you have questions. In fact, they would love for you to ask and prefer that you do! Next time you pick up your prescriptions, educate before you medicate and ask about your medication.

Learn more about Mission Health’s pharmacies and find one near you at missionhealth.org/pharmacy.