Efficient consultations Your pharmacist is there to advise you. To take full advantage of your conversation with your pharmacist, make sure you free up enough time and come well-prepared. Here are six ways to make the most of your consultations! 1. Talk about your condition Since a single drug can be used to treat more than one illness, it is important to tell your pharmacist which health problem prompted this medication being prescribed. This information is critical to his work and will help him provide you with the proper advice. He can ensure that what has been prescribed is appropriate for your condition (other illnesses you may suffer from, medications you are taking). He will also be better able to help you choose any over-the-counter medication indicated for your situation, as the case may be. Did you know? Your patient file is confidential. The pharmacist needs your permission to reveal its contents, unless in an emergency situation where you are unable to give your consent. 2. Make a list of your question ahead of time To make sure you don’t forget anything, jot down your questions and observations, before your consultation, regarding your medications or your state of health since the treatment began. When giving you your medication, your pharmacist will also provide you with pertinent information and answer your questions. It is possible that other questions may arise after your consultation. To avoid forgetting these questions or any other observation you might have made since you started taking the medication, write them down. This will help you get answers that are both more precise and relevant to your situation. 3. Make a list of your medications An up-to-date list of all the medications (prescription and over-the-counter) and natural health products you take is an invaluable tool for any health professional you may visit, especially if you have a file in several different pharmacies. For a pharmacist, this list is of paramount importance to reduce the risk of drug interactions. Many drugs, if taken together, may interact and cause unwanted effects that may sometimes be very damaging to your health or decrease the effectiveness of your medication. 4. Carry your pharmacy’s contact information with you Your pharmacist keeps valuable information about your state of health and any medications you use in your patient file. This information is extremely useful, but is only kept by the pharmacist treating you. When travelling, bring your pharmacy’s contact information with you. This way, should you take any other medications or experience changes to your health, the health professionals you meet can quickly contact the pharmacist who has your file. Together, they can make better decisions about your health. 5. Set some time aside when visiting your pharmacy When buying an over-the-counter drug, take the time to ask your pharmacist for advice. A non-prescription drug is still a pharmaceutical product that can have many effects on your body—even if it is available over-the-counter. Before recommending that you take an over-the-counter medication, your pharmacist must ensure that the product is right for you. He will ask some questions and may refer to your file to ensure there is no contraindication or interaction with your current treatment. By taking time to answer your pharmacist’s questions, you help him help you better. 6. Staying loyal to your pharmacist: A guarantee of health and safety By purchasing all your prescription drugs at the same pharmacy, you help your pharmacist monitor your drug therapy more effectively. This allows your pharmacist to access all the information he recorded previously in your patient file, which in turn ensures he can provide the best possible monitoring of your drug therapy and your health. When you go to your pharmacist, he has everything needed to give you sound advice. For the best follow-up, always see the same pharmacist: he has your file on hand… and your health at heart.