Five questions to ask your pharmacist

1. What is this medication called?

Medications usually have two names: a brand name and a generic name.

At a UI Health Care Pharmacy we will let you know both and give you information that has both names printed out for you. Our doctors and pharmacists use one electronic health record, so you can be sure there are no mix ups in the medications you’re being prescribed.

2. What does this medication do?

Medicines have intended effects and side effects, and it is important your pharmacist describes these for you.

UI Health Care pharmacists are a valuable part of your care team and can look at your medical record. They review that record to see precisely why a specific medicine was chosen for your care and explain to you how it works for your particular condition. We will explain what to watch for and what to avoid. We’ll always remind you when a side effect is serious enough to get follow-up attention.

3. When do I stop taking this medication?

It is important to take your medications as your doctor prescribed them. If you have any question about whether it’s OK to stop taking a medication, contact our provider immediately.

Your UI Health Care pharmacist will print out clear instructions for you, letting you know how to take the medication and when to stop taking it. We can also prepare counted out doses of all your medications so they will be simple to take for the proper number of days.

4. What if?

Here’s what happens when medications mix with our routine lives—questions arise. Is your pharmacist prepared to answer? Here are the types of questions we routinely hear and the way we address them.

What if I take herbal medicines and nonprescription drugs?

Certain vitamins, supplements, and over-the-counter medications can interact with your prescribed medications. Let us know about the other things you’re taking. We’ll note them in your medical record and alert you to any problems if you take them while taking your new medication.

What if I forget to take this medication on time?

We give you instructions that explain what to do if you forget a dose of your new medication. If you misplace your instructions please give us a call. We’ll talk you through it or send you a new set.

What if I lose this medication?

Call us immediately. We’ll get you back on the medication as quickly as possible.

What if I become pregnant?

Contact us immediately. Certain medications can affect unborn babies. Some medicines require a pregnancy test before they’re given to be certain there won’t be any complications to you or a developing baby. We give you warnings if your medication has consequences for pregnancies and offer you advice on safe birth control.

What if I can’t afford this medication?

We work with your insurance company to work out coverage details. In some cases, medications are available in a generic form, which can save you money. Some drug companies provide programs to greatly reduce the cost of a medication for certain patients. We will work with you to explore options that might apply to your case.

5. When can I call with more questions?

Medication questions pop up any time of the day or night. Make sure your pharmacy has someone on hand 24/7 to answer your questions.

Our pharmacists are available 24/7 by calling 1-877-846-8574. They have access to your medical record and can give you answers specific to your individual case. If you have any doubts or concerns about your medications, we recommend you ask us. When it comes to your health, there’s no such thing as a silly question. 

Last reviewed: 
April 2018

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