What Your Pharmacist Should Know About You

February 2016

“Help your pharmacist to know you and understand any limitations to your care,” says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Mary E. Kremzner, Pharm.D., M.P.H. “Pharmacists really want to help people get the maximum benefit from what’s prescribed with the least amount of risk.”

For example, some large pills are hard to swallow. “The pharmacist will know the drug’s makeup and whether you can crush it without altering its effectiveness or release rate,” Kremzner says. Another risk is interactions – food-drug or drug-drug. “For example, if you take a certain blood thinner, don’t eat too many dark leafy greens, because the vitamin K can decrease the drug’s effect,” says the FDA’s Lindsay Wagner, Pharm.D. “The interaction can depend on the patient, the drug or how often you eat certain foods.”

Your pharmacist should know:

  • Everything you take for your health: all medications, dietary supplements, herbal supplements and vitamins
  • Your medical history and experience with medications, including allergic reactions and side effects
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • If you have trouble swallowing pills, opening bottles, reading labels or remembering when to take your medicine

Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

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