People call it “running” errands for a reason – we commonly would like to get through them as quickly as possible! Yet in terms of picking up prescriptions, slowing down and taking additional time to talk to the pharmacist, as opposed to hurrying through the drive-through, is essential – especially for senior loved ones who frequently take a variety of meds.
The following list of questions to ask the pharmacist is a good starting point to make sure that you and the loved one you’re caring for are equipped with the info needed:
- What, when and exactly how: First and foremost, obtain clarification on the basics, even though the most significant facts are typically printed on the label or associated paperwork. What exactly is the correct dosage? Is there a particular time of day the medication should be taken? Will it be taken with food, water, milk, on an empty stomach, etc.?
- When errors arise: If too much or not enough of the med is taken, or if a dose is forgotten, what guidelines must be followed? How about if a senior does not remember having taken the prescription and takes a duplicate quantity?
- Side effects: Again, this info should be printed out for you; however, the pharmacist can supply you with a good breakdown of the most common negative effects to look out for, and what to do if any side effects or an allergic reaction takes place.
- What to avoid: Particular medications interact adversely with others, and sometimes even with various kinds of food. Others can lead to drowsiness or dizziness, which makes it hazardous to drive or operate machinery and raises the chance of a fall.
- Time period: Will this med need to be taken continuously, or is it short-term? If long-term, what quantity of refills are part of the prescription? And is there a shelf life/expiration date? What happens if the medication is taken past this date?
Lastly, remember to ask about an evaluation of all medications the senior is taking to check for any medication interactions that could cause negative side effects. This is especially essential for seniors receiving prescriptions from multiple doctors and specialists. Ask the pharmacist if there is any duplication in the senior’s list of meds to prevent overmedication. It could be that one doctor has prescribed a generic type of a medication, whereas another wrote the order for the drug’s brand name.
At-Home Care Company will help make certain seniors continue to be both knowledgeable in respect to the medications they’re taking, and compliant in taking them exactly as prescribed. We’re available to pick up prescriptions, provide transportation and accompaniment to the pharmacy to permit non-driving older adults to consult with the pharmacist, prompt older adults at the correct time to take meds, and much more.