Top 6 Reasons to Visit Your Local Pharmacist

Jocelyn Kerl  •   October 1, 2017

Pharmacists are one of the most accessible health care providers in our communities. At every pharmacy, you will find at least one pharmacist ready and able to answer your medication questions — likely without an appointment. In honor of National Pharmacist Month, I encourage you to utilize your pharmacist as a resource in one or more of the following ways.

  1. Answer Medication Questions
    Pharmacists are medication experts and can supplement the information your doctor provided you about your medications. When taking prescription medications be sure you know what each medication is for, how you are supposed to take the medication, and what you can expect while taking the medication. Using one pharmacy to fill all your prescriptions will help your pharmacist provide you the most accurate information and screen for drug interactions.
  2. Keep Track of Medications
    If you use multiple doctors’ offices your medication list can quickly become outdated. Telling one doctor you’ve stopped a medication doesn’t mean your other doctors received that same information. Carrying an up-to-date medication list is one of the best ways you can help your doctors.  Each time your prescriptions change, get an updated list from your pharmacy and share that list with all of your medical providers, including your dentist.
  3. Save Money
    Ask your pharmacist to review your medication list for cost savings opportunities. Some pharmacies even offer appointments with a pharmacist to perform an in-depth review of your medications. Pharmacists are knowledgeable about generic alternatives to expensive brand name medications. When brand name medications are necessary, pharmacists may be able to direct you to other savings opportunities.
  4. Vaccinations
    Vaccines and age limitations may vary by state, but all states allow pharmacists to administer vaccinations. Pharmacies often have extended hours compared to physician offices and administer vaccines without an appointment, increasing convenience. Contact your local pharmacy to learn more about their vaccine offerings.
  5. Medication Storage and Disposal
    Some medications have temperature and moisture sensitivities, making proper storage critical. Appropriate storage also keeps medication out of reach from pets and children, minimizing risk for poisoning, abuse, or misuse. Pharmacists can help provide guidance on how to properly dispose of unwanted medications.
  6. Over-the-Counter Medications and Supplies
    Over-the-counter medications don’t require a prescription, but they can still interact with prescription medications or cause harm to patients with certain health conditions. Pharmacists can help you find a safe and effective over-the-counter product based on your complaint. Pharmacists are also knowledgeable about over-the-counter supplies such as blood glucose meters, syringes, and blood pressure cuffs. Talk to your pharmacist first to get their opinion and learn how to properly use these supplies before you buy.

October is National Pharmacist Month — go thank a pharmacist today! And don’t forget to use them for your next medication question.