People call it “running” errands for a reason – we have the tendency to need to get through them as soon as possible! Nonetheless when it comes to picking up prescriptions, slowing down and taking additional time to talk to the pharmacist, rather than buzzing through the drive-through, is important – particularly for senior loved ones who often take a number of different medications.
The following list of questions to ask the pharmacist is an excellent place to begin to make sure that you and the loved one you are caring for are armed with the necessary information:
- What, when and how: To begin with, get clarification about the basics, even though the most significant information is usually included on the label or associated paperwork. What’s the appropriate medication dosage? Is there a certain time of day the med needs to be taken? Is it taken with meals, water, milk, on an empty stomach, etc.?
- When errors arise: If too much or not enough of the medication is taken, or if a dose is missed, what action ought to be undertaken? How about if an older adult does not remember having taken the medication and takes a duplicate quantity?
- Side effects: Again, this info should be printed out for you; however, the pharmacist can offer a beneficial summary of the most typical side effects to look out for, and what to do if any harmful effects or an allergic reaction occurs.
- What to avoid: Particular prescriptions interact negatively with others, or even with various types of food. Others can result in drowsiness or dizziness, making it hazardous to drive or operate machinery and raising the chance of a fall.
- Duration: Will this med need to be taken ongoing, 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 will happen if the medication is taken past this date?
Finally, make sure to request a medication review, evaluating all medications the senior is taking to check for any contraindications between meds. This is especially vital for senior loved ones receiving prescriptions from multiple physicians and specialists. Ask the pharmacist if there is any duplication in the senior’s list of meds to avoid overmedication. It may possibly be that one physician has prescribed a generic type of a medication, while another wrote the prescription for the drug’s brand name.
Anthem Home Care will help make certain seniors continue to be both knowledgeable regarding the medications they are taking, and compliant in taking them just as prescribed. We are available to pick up prescriptions, supply transportation and accompaniment to the pharmacy to permit non-driving seniors to talk to the pharmacist, prompt seniors at the correct time to take meds, and much more.