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Taking a new prescription drug might not seem like a big deal, but when you are thinking about it, you are introducing a new substance into your body and should be informed as much as possible. Ideally, your doctor would have discussed all possible side effects of the medicine with you, but there is more to consider – and not everything is on the prescription label.
It is therefore best to speak to your pharmacist when you pick up a new prescription. This is your chance to benefit from their expertise. So when they ask you, if you have any questions, just ask.
But what if your head goes blank and you don’t know what to ask? In an email to Lifehacker, Susan Peppers, RPh, pharmacist and vice president of Express Scripts Pharmacy, shared five basic questions to ask our pharmacists before taking any new medication. Here’s what you should know.
Questions to ask your pharmacist when picking up a new prescription
If you want to make the most of your time with your pharmacist – especially if you’re on a new medication – Peppers recommends asking the following questions:
1. Could this drug interact with my vitamins and supplements?
When discussing your new medication with your pharmacist, don’t forget to mention all of the vitamins and supplements you are currently taking. “Talk to a pharmacist about any medications you are taking, especially if you are prescribed new medications, to make sure that over-the-counter drugs or supplements are affecting your medication,” says Peppers.
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2. I am on several medications. What do I have to know?
Again, your pharmacist will not be able to give you the most accurate information about your new prescription if you do not tell them what you are already taking. “If you are taking multiple medications for chronic diseases, you should speak to a pharmacist every time you change your medication regimen to check for drug interactions, drug overlaps, or supply gaps,” explains Pepperss.
3. Could this recipe make me feel insecure?
It’s important to know if your new medication can make you dizzy or sleepy. And that’s not all: “There are other dangers in the house that can lead to a fall, especially as you get older and have to get up frequently at night,” notes Peppers. “A pharmacist can provide home safety tips to avoid an accident.”
4. I sometimes forget to take my medication. What’s a reminder that works?
Everyone has their own preferred methods of keeping track of things, but if you’re struggling to remember to take your medication, Peppers says your pharmacist can suggest digital tools like a reminder app to prevent you from taking your medication forget medication.
5. Is there a cheaper option for my prescription?
Prescription drugs can be extremely expensive – especially without health insurance. So, if you can’t afford your prescription, ask your pharmacist if there are other options – like generic drugs, cheaper drugs, or a discount code.