Improve Your Prescription Drug Know-How
If you’re taking prescription meds, be a smart patient. Here’s everything you need to know to avoid becoming a victim of the estimated 51.1 million prescription-filling errors made each year.
1. Primary Local Pharmacy
Even if you use mail-order pharmacies to save money on long-term prescriptions, you still need to have all your prescriptions filled at a primary local pharmacy at least once. This allows the pharmacy to keep an up-to-date personal medication record, and allows you to develop a strong relationship with your pharmacist.
2. Be Aware of Pharmacy Rush Hour
Avoid filling prescriptions at the beginning of the month, when pharmacies are busiest. Research shows that in the first few days of each month, fatalities due to medication errors rise by as much as 25%. Also, don’t fill at prime hours such as lunchtime or after work. Try filling your prescriptions when the pharmacy first opens or 20 minutes before closing time.
3. Always Ask Your Pharmacist About the Side Effects of a New Medication
You should always ask your pharmacist about the side effects of a new medication and review what the medication is used for. It’s also a good idea to ask them general questions regarding how to take meds (with or without food), if you need refills, when drugs expire, and what to do if you miss a dose.