9 Things Your Pharmacist Wants You NOT to Do
Think you know everything about your medications? You may not. From when to take your medications to where you keep them, there’s a lot to know about your drugs. Your medications can interact with each other and even with your vitamins and supplements. And where you store your prescriptions can sometimes make them less effective. We’ve gathered some advice from pharmacists here to help you get the most out of your meds.
1. Don’t share your medications. You may think you are helping out a friend when you lend your medications to another in need. But you could be risking your own life, and theirs. Your medications are prescribed to you, and may not be appropriate for someone else. Instead, help your friend find resources to get the meds they need. If your friend is on Medicare, encourage them to see if they qualify for Extra Help from Medicare.
2. Don’t forget to tell your doctor and pharmacist what vitamins and over-the-counter drugs you take. Why? Your vitamins and common over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen can affect your body’s systems and how well your body absorbs your medication. It’s important for your health care team to know what you are taking and when you take it.
3. Don’t skip doses. It’s important for you to take your medication as prescribed or it may not work. Some medications have to build up in your body before they take effect. And others need to be taken at the same time every day.
4. Don’t split pills unless your doctor or pharmacist has told you to do so. Not only is it important to take your medications as your doctor has directed, but also some medications are less effective if you split them. Certain medications have special coatings that help them work in your body longer. If you break the coating, they may not work the way they are supposed to.
5. Don’t wait until your medications are gone to get refills. Make sure to get your refills before your medications run out. This way you won’t miss a dose. Do let us know if you are having a hard time getting your medications. There are programs that can help. Also, consider signing up for mail order. It won’t cost you any extra to get your medications delivered to your home, unless you ask for urgent delivery.
6. Don’t forget to ask your pharmacists questions about your prescriptions. Your pharmacist is an expert on medications and how they interact with each other. Make sure you take advantage of their expertise and ask them any questions you have about your drugs.
7. Don’t forget to ask for 90-day refills of your medications. Switching from a 30-day supply to a 90-day supply can make it easier for you to never miss a dose of your medications and make fewer visits to the pharmacy. You can get a 90-day supply of your prescriptions mailed directly to your home, too.
8. Don’t keep any medications in your car (including EpiPens and inhalers). Heat and frost can change or inactivate your medications. If you need to carry medications for emergencies, make sure you carry them with you in a purse or bag.
9. Don’t leave medications in the reach of children or pets. Be especially careful what you put in the trash. Your pets could get into your trash and into your medicine. To find an authorized disposal site for medicine, call the DEA Office of Diversion Control’s Registration Call Center at 1-800-882-9539. You can also deactivate the medicine. For FDA tips on how to dispose of medicine, click here.
Your Medications by Mail
Interested in getting your medications by mail order? Contact our mail order pharmacy, AllianceRx Walgreen by PrimeMail. You can reach them at 1-888-211-9028. TTY users please call 1-800-573-1833. You can also get your medications delivered through PillPack, a pharmacy that organizes your medications by dose in handy packs labeled with the time you need to take them. Call 1-866-323-3046 for more information about PillPack or visit www.pillpack.com/flblue.
Filed under: Medicare News