Your compounding pharmacy is a reliable source of custom medications and precision medication dosages. Take charge of your health care and help your pharmacist help you by reliably following these four prescription-medication rules.
1. Understand Why a Medicine Was Prescribed
Your general practitioner, specialist, or other health care provider should explain the reasons why they prescribe a medication of any type. If your health care provider doesn’t explain the reasons why they want you to take a certain drug, or you don’t understand their initial explanation, insist that your health care provider more clearly explain to you what you need to know.
If a medication is prescribed to ease a certain symptom, you need to know that information. When taking medications for some symptoms, you can monitor yourself at home between doctor’s visits to determine whether the medication works.
Knowing the reasons why you’re prescribed specific medications helps you manage your health care with different physicians and health care providers. When visiting a new specialist, you can explain why you’ve been prescribed medications for past and present health issues.
2. Tell Your Doctor or Pharmacists About Other Medicines
Always inform any health care provider about all medications, herbal supplements, and vitamin tablets you may take. Even if you’ve taken blood pressure medication for years, don’t assume your physician or health care provider knows or remembers.
Take charge of your prescriptions by keeping a detailed, up-to-date list of your medications in your wallet or purse. That way, you won’t inadvertently forget a prescription.
Bad drug interactions are not anything to be lazy about. Certain medications can mix with other medications to reduce the effectiveness of one or both medications. Sometimes, a dangerous drug interaction can lead to a health crisis.
You should tell your doctor or pharmacist if you take any herbal supplement, including the following herbs:
- Black Cohosh
- Green tea
- Korean ginseng
- St. John’s wort
Inform your health care provider when you stop taking a medication too. Some medications can cause adverse side effects if you stop taking them suddenly. Discuss any and all medication changes or reductions with your health care provider first.
Your doctor and compounding pharmacist can work together to help you manage your prescriptions without putting your health at risk or making your medications less effective. However, you must speak up and be honest about all medications you use. The more your health care professionals know about your prescription medications, the better able they are to keep you safe.
3. Know the Benefits and Risks of Medications
Pay attention to the instructions that your health care provider gives you concerning your prescription medications. When you leave your health care provider’s clinic or office, you should know the name of your medication, the duration of time you should use it, and any possible side effects.
The compounding pharmacist will place a label on all medications that includes the name and dosage of your medication. Somewhere in the packaging of a medication or in an associated handout from the pharmacist will be a list of potential side effects for that medication.
Don’t throw the boring fine print away. Take the time to read the possible side effects so you know if you may have a bad reaction to a medication. File all patient information associated with a prescription medication with your personal medical records.
If you feel unsure about the side effects of a medication, contact your compounding pharmacist or your health care provider. They’re happy to explain any risks to you, and your health care providers need to know if you experience adverse side effects from a new, existing, or changed prescription.
4. Use the Medication as Prescribed
The label on your prescription packaging tells you the dosage of the medication inside. The medication may need to be taken with meals, taken every so many hours, or taken once a day.
If the dosage instructions say to take twice a day or take three times a day, you should space out the two, three, or more doses of your prescription medication. Don’t take all three pills at once. Time multiple daily doses to have approximately equal intervals between them.
For example, if you have to take two pills a day, take the first dose at 9 a.m. and the second dose at 9 p.m., so the doses are every twelve hours. Take thrice-daily doses at 9 a.m., 2 p.m., and 9 p.m. so you don’t have to wake yourself up to take a dose. Ask your compounding pharmacist or health care provider for help with a dosage schedule if necessary.
Some medications must be taken at regular intervals to be effective or to provide accurate readings on laboratory tests. Follow prescription-medication instructions to the letter for the best health care outcomes.
Use all medications up if instructed. If you do stop taking a medication, don’t pour the leftover pills or syrup or other drugs down the sink or toilet. Ask your pharmacist about medicine take-back options in your area, or dispose of unused drugs in your household trash.
When you need reliable, safe compounded prescription medications in the Peoria, Arizona, area, contact Potter’s House Apothecary. We work with you to help you manage your prescription-medication routines.