The Bridge    Join    

Know Your Medicine, Know Your Pharmacist

Medicines today have great power to heal and to improve the quality of life for thousands of Iowans. But medicines also may do serious harm if not taken correctly. This is where the role of the pharmacist is most important. You should choose your pharmacist as carefully as you choose a physician. It is best to use only one pharmacy so all medication records are at one location. This way there will be less risk of duplicating medicine or having one prescription interact harmfully with another. 

Pharmacists who know their patients and have their medication profiles on file will be aware of possible harmful drug interactions or allergies to certain drugs. The pharmacist also will be able to discuss possible side effects; what foods, drinks, or activities that should be avoided while on a medication; what to do if you miss a dose; and a wide range of other helpful information.

The pharmacist is a key health care professional in helping people achieve the best results from their medications. Americans should choose a pharmacist they trust and build a partnership for good health.

Key questions to ask your pharmacist about your medications:
  • What is the name of the medication, and what is it supposed to do?
  • When and how do I take it?
  • How long should I take it?
  • Does this medication contain anything that causes an allergic reaction?
  • Should I avoid alcohol or any foods when taking this medication?
  • Can I take non-prescription medications, herbal products, or other drugs with this medicine?
  • Should I expect any side effects?
  • What if I forget to take my medication or take a dose incorrectly?
  • Is it safe to become pregnant or breast-feed while taking this medication?
  • How should I dispose of expired medications or used needles and syringes?
  • How should I store my medications, and how long can I keep them?