Staying healthy requires a bit of work. When your doctor prescribes a medication, it is important to get involved to ensure the best results. Here are the 5 simple steps:
- Understand the medication. Do your own research. Know the name of the medication you are taking, the dosage, possible side effects and why it has been prescribed. Ask to speak with the pharmacist to discuss the specifics about the medication you have been prescribed. Sometimes, the information on the internet can be conflicting and inaccurate. Your pharmacist will be able to provide you with critical information such as the best time to take the medicine, conflicting foods or vitamins, alternatives, and possible side effects. And most importantly, how you can save money on your prescription. Many times, there are coupons or assistance programs that may help you save on your prescription co-pay.
- Follow the directions. Following the directions for your prescription medication will increase the effectiveness. Make sure that you take the appropriate dosage and at the correct time. In terms of complications, certain foods and other drugs should be avoided while taking some prescriptions. Be sure to carefully read all the information on your prescription bottle and the medication insert. Your prescription bottle will have auxiliary labels that inform you of important information such as how to store the medication, whether you have to take it with food, or if alcohol must be avoided. If you have any questions or experience a difficult time taking your medication, ask to speak with the pharmacist. At Drug Mart Pharmacy, we offer solutions such as Dispill®, a multi-dose packaging solution that helps improve patients adherence to their medication regimen. This allows the pharmacy to provide medications in an all-inclusive blister pack.
- Keep medical records. Keep a written history of all medications and dosages, immunizations, surgeries, allergies, and a family health record. There are free apps available on the Apple Store or Android to store this information on your phone. If you prefer written records, ask for a free Health Journal next time you are at Drug Mart Pharmacy.
- Watch for changes. Be aware of any social, sleeping, work, or diet changes that you experience on new medications. Symptoms and side effects can be minor and disappear within a few weeks, or they can continue and present severe issues. If you experience something unusual, even if it is a minor nuisance, speak to your pharmacist. Here is an example: there is a commonly prescribed blood pressure medication that causes a dry cough. Many times, people who experience this side effect think they have a cold, and they treat it with cough and cold medications. However, the dry cough will not go away until the medication is changed to another blood pressure medication. It is important to have an open communication with your pharmacist, and they can assist in coordinating care with your doctor.
- Be health-conscious. Inform your doctor about your eating habits, alcohol consumption, smoking, or any other drug use. Make the best choices you possibly can to reduce the risk of complications.
Having the right medical team and pharmacy on your side makes a world of a difference. Feel free to speak with a member of our pharmacy staff at anytime by calling 908-561-5300. We'd love to help!