NDSU Extension - Sargent County


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It’s Your Health

It’s Your Health 10/28/16Last week was National Pharmacy Week. Since my middle son is already a pharmacist, and my youngest son is going to college to become a pharmacist, National Pharmacy Week is a big deal in my book. 

Many people, myself included, consider pharmacists to be valuable, trusted, easily approachable and accessible members of the health care profession.  I agree.  For example, during my growing up years, Pete Peterson was “the druggist” in my hometown.  He was super friendly and knowledgeable.  The pharmacy counter was at the back of his little store, past shelves that were filled with health and beauty products, school supplies, greeting cards, gift items, and magazines.  His store also boasted an impressive candy display, right beside the soda fountain and ice cream counter.  Ah, the good old days!                                                                                                        

As consumers, we can advocate for our health in many ways.  One way is to get accurate, reliable information about our prescription and non-prescription medications through conversations with the medical care providers who assess and evaluate our health and medical conditions, diagnose and treat diseases and illnesses, and prescribe medications, as well as the pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who fill our prescriptions. 

During those conversations, there are several important questions to be addressed, so if the health care professional doesn’t volunteer the information, be prepared to ask.  Also, be ready to ask until you understand, and to check your understanding by explaining it back to the provider.

Some of those questions are:

- What is this medication for?

- How often should I take this medication? 

- Should I take this medication during wake time only or around the clock? 

- How long before/after a meal should I take this medication?  Or with a meal?

- Are there any food, beverages, or other prescription or non-prescription meds I should
  or should not take with this medication?

- How long should I take this medication? 

- How soon should I expect to see results or progress?  What will that look like?

- What side effects might I look for or expect?  What should I do if they occur?

- How should I store the medication?  What storage situations should be avoided?

- How should I dispose of any unused medication if for some reason I don’t use all of it?

- Is this medication available as a generic? 

- Why would you recommend or not recommend the generic version?


Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/en/symbols-pharmacy-medicine-logo-41709/  (downloaded 11/1/16)

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