|Pertinent health information|
When seeking medical advice, your health care professional will ask you important questions such as:
- Do you have any other medical conditions?
- Are you currently taking any medications?
- If so, what kind and what condition are they for?
- Do you have any allergies to medications?
Unfortunately, not all people will know the answers to the above questions but it is important to know the answers to these questions to receive the best type of treatment possible.
Always inform your pharmacist of any existing health condition. This information will be very useful to your pharmacist. For example, you may visit a different pharmacy near your place of work to pick up a medication because you have a headache. If you were pregnant and did not ask the pharmacist, you may leave the pharmacy with the wrong drug treatment. In your first trimester it would be hard to tell if you were pregnant, particularly under a parka. Certain medications for headaches should not be used by pregnant women.
If you have questions, it doesn’t hurt to just ask and double check. The pharmacists are there to help you choose the correct treatment and will take into consideration any medical conditions that you may have. Any information that is given is all personal heath information and is kept in the strictest confidence by law.
Some basic information about your current medications such as the drug names and what they are for is very important to know. To help you remember, write it down on piece of paper and carry it in your wallet. There are also medical bracelets or necklaces that can be personalized to have health conditions, medications or allergies recorded on them. Your pharmacist can then use that information in order to give you the correct recommendation.
There are several drug interactions that exist among prescription, non-prescription drugs and herbal medicines. For example, you may have a cold and need something for your stuffy nose while you are currently taking a new medication to lower your blood pressure. Decongestant drugs normally found in sinus and cold products may increase blood pressure. You might pick up a sinus medication that could have negative effects on you.
Allergies to medication should not only be reported to your doctor but to your pharmacist as well. Certain prescription and non-prescription drugs may contain ingredients that you may be allergic to. This could happen if, for example, you went to a walk-in clinic and you were given a prescription for amoxicillin because you didn’t tell the doctor that you were allergic to penicillin. You should at least tell the person filling your prescription if it isn’t already on record. A severe allergic reaction can be prevented. Amoxicillin belongs to the same group of drugs as penicillin and can cause allergic reactions. A quick phone call to your doctor by your pharmacist can fix the prescription and prevent future mix-ups.
It is crucial for you to know as much about your health as possible. Work with your health care professionals and give them all pertinent information so that they can help you achieve positive health outcomes and improve your quality of life.
The above information is intended for educational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor, pharmacist or qualified health care professional to receive proper medical treatment.
Armalyn Tesoro is a graduate of the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy. She is currently working as a licensed community pharmacist at Wal-Mart on Ellice and Empress.