Specialty Area: Pharmacy

Description of Specialty: This specialty deals with preparing, compounding and dispensing medicines.

1. Diagnosis: Education about medications

Questions that should be asked:

  1. Where could I get something that describes my medication and its side reactions?
  2. What important information is on the label of my medication?
  3. Should I take all my medication with me when I go see the doctor?
  4. Is continuity of filling my prescription at the same place important?
  5. Will my pharmacist answer all my questions?

2. Diagnosis: Taking Medications

Questions that should be asked:

  1. Is there a reason to take some medication with food and some on an empty stomach?
  2. What do I do if I miss a dose of medication?
  3. Are alcoholic beverages compatible with my medication?
  4. What are the major side reactions of my medication?
  5. Should I take more than eight glass of water a day?
  6. Is there a reason why I shouldn't take antacids, iron products, milk or grapefruit juice with my medication?
  7. May I take vitamins with my medications?
  8. If I am sensitive to sunlight, will any of my medications cause a problem?

3. Diagnosis: Pain Medication

Questions that should be asked:

  1. What do I do if medication cause nausea and/or vomiting?
  2. If the pain medication causes me problems, is there something I can do to relieve the symptoms and continue the medication.
  3. Is timing and dosage of medication important?
  4. Will effects of medicine to relieve pain loss their effectiveness?
  5. If pain is not relieved with dosage advised, who should I call or what should I do?

4. Diagnosis: Adverse Reactions

Questions that should be asked:

  1. Can adverse reactions happen to everyone?
  2. Do the number of medications increase the risk for adverse reactions?
  3. Is the expiration date important to pay attention to?
  4. Is the use of herbal remedies potentially dangerous with the use of regular prescribed medications?
  5. What are the signs of adverse reaction to my medicine(s)?
  6. Is it safe to use the prescribed medicine of a friend or relative?
  7. What can my doctor do to treat an adverse drug reaction?

5. Diagnosis: Drugs

Questions that should be asked:

  1. What does the term "generic" mean?
  2. Is generic available on all medications?
  3. Are there interactions with drugs, foods and other supplements?
  4. Is timing for food intake or time of day important?
  5. What is the purpose of this medication?
  6. Are there articles, books or information on the computer about these medications?
  7. May I take alcohol while taking these drugs?
  8. Is grapefruit juice risky to use with any of my medications?

6. Diagnosis: Herbs

Questions that should be asked:

  1. Where can I find out what herbs interact with my medicines?
  2. Is alcohol risky with the use of the herbs I'm taking?
  3. Are herbal products safe because they are natural?
  4. Are there medical problems that make it dangerous to take herbal products?
  5. What are the possible interfere with prescription medicine?

Alvin Lerner, RPH Registered Pharmacist St. Louis, MO


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