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How to get the Best from your Physician and Pharmacist

Updated on December 30, 2012

Speak with your physician

Being Proactive rather than Reactive.

Often we go to the physician without being fully prepared to address ALL that we would like to. True, sometimes in the event of an emergency it may not be practical to apply this advice, but, many of us even with our regular check ups, often forget to address other complaints that we would have liked to.

It is therefore advised that prior to our visits/ appointments we take the time to jot down on a piece of paper or personal journal/ diary, ALL that we would like to have addressed by the physician. This may save us severe inconvenience in certain situations, and so should not be taken lightly.




It has been said that we should not wait to visit a physician when we need one, but rather, should have regular check ups on a periodic basic depending of course on our general health. Those who have chronic conditions need to ensure that their condition is being monitored accordingly. However, those who do not have a chronic condition should ensure that their lifestyle does not predispose them to one.



It is important that patients seek out physicians who they can relate to comfortably. Therefore it may be more prudent to have a female pediatrician for your teenage daughter and to facilitate trust this should be done from her pre-teen years.

Prescriptions



When medications are being prescribed, the cost if it is a factor should be discussed. Often generic equivalents offer significant savings. Inform the physician whether if you have similar medications at home already. If you are unsure, you should if feasible take the medications you have at home with you when you visit the physician. This may help to prevent repetitions or reduce the likelihood of drug-drug interactions.

Ensure that you fully understand or at least have a good idea of the purpose of each medication prescribed, their side effects, and notable adverse effects.

Mention repeats, and do not be shy to ask for samples where relevant. Physicians are offered samples by Medical Representatives, and these were meant to be distributed freely to patients.


Pharmacy



Just as you should have a personal physician, likewise, you should have a personal pharmacist, or, one particular pharmacy that you go to. This is important as they would already have a record of any allergies you and your family may have, ready access to your medical history, and a relationship would have been formed.

The pharmacist is the last stop to ensure that your medication is right for you. Serious queries are confidentially dealt with between the prescribing physician and the pharmacist. Less serious ones are discussed with the patient for speedy resolutions.

The pharmacist should have a final check off point where all medications and their labels are carefully checked prior to distribution to the patient.

The patient should ask all questions pertaining to the medication prior to the prescription being filled. Where a medication is not required this should be related to the pharmacist along with the reasons for not requiring these medicaments at that point in time.

Sometimes the patient may not need all of a particular medication, such as a painkiller, this should be discussed with the pharmacist or pharmacy technician.




Remember, the pharmacist and physician are part of the team that want you to get the best from your medications, feel free to ask any relevant question. Your compliance may determine how quickly you start to benefit from the medication.

Be sure that you are aware of when to take the medication as respect to time and meals. What you may need to avoid altogether or within a certain time period of the medications.

Smile, life is a journey, know the route, read the signs, knowledge is power.


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