How Pharmacists Help Keep Us Healthy–Be in the Know

You’ve likely heard the phrase “drug interactions.” That’s when two or more drugs react with each other. Drug interactions can lead to unexpected and often negative side effects. Along with interactions between drugs, you can have interactions between drugs and other things you ingest.

Drug and food/beverage interactions — You can get interactions betweens drugs and food or beverages. For example, some drugs can give you undesirable side effects if you take them with alcohol. They may make you feel tired, ill or worse.

Drug and health condition interactions — Some drugs can interact negatively if you have certain medical conditions. For example, a nasal decongestant may give you a bad reaction of you have high blood pressure.

 

Ways You Can Avoid Drug Interactions

You can take these important and practical steps.

  • Carefully read drug labels for uses, directions and warnings. Labels may include information about drug reactions. Take care with over-the-counter drugs. They can also cause drug interactions.
  • Ask your pharmacist about your prescriptions, other drugs you take and health conditions you have. Pharmacists can explain potential adverse interactions.

    They can also tell you about other drugs and foods you should avoid when you’re taking your prescription drug. They can also explain when you should take your prescription drugs and for how long you should take them.

 

Pharmacists Help Keep You Healthy

Some folks think pharmacists just count pills and bottle them up. In actuality, your pharmacist is an important part of your health care team. You should know what their job really involves!

An Aurora pharmacist can access your electronic health records and view information that can help determine if a new prescription medication will be safe, effective and the best option for you. Your pharmacist can also:

  • Check for possible interactions between your medications.
  • Ensure proper dosing of your medications.
  • Recognize opportunities for additional therapies, if appropriate.
  • Check that you’re not taking duplicate medications.

 

Pharmacists Are Highly Trained Health Care Professionals

Pharmacists are great resources for you, thanks to their rigorous training programs. They study for years to earn a doctorate of pharmacy (PharmD) degree.

They earn their PharmD degree by attending a three- or four-year graduate program at an accredited pharmacy college. Their courses focus on a range of skills, and give the pharmacist a deep understanding of pharmacotherapy — how medications work in the body.

Following graduation from a PharmD program, pharmacists may choose to take part in a post-graduate, one- or two-year residency program. These programs allow specialization and additional skill development.

Your pharmacist’s extensive training and experience qualifies her or him to be an essential member of your family’s health care team. Your pharmacist can collaborate with other members of your health care team to help ensure your medications are safe and effective for you.

If you have questions about prescriptions or over-the-counter medications, ask your pharmacist. They’re there to help you!

If you need a pharmacy, you can find an Aurora pharmacy location online. Just visit Aurora.org.

Meet the Author

Hanna Dehnert, PharmD is a PGY1 Community-Based Pharmacy Resident at Aurora.

Read more posts from this author

The information presented in this site is intended for general information and educational purposes. It is not intended to replace the advice of your own physician. Contact your physician if you believe you have a health problem.

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