Most people's interactions with their pharmacist are rather limited. You show up at the pharmacy to pick up your medications. The pharmacist hands them to you, perhaps with some accompanying literature, and then sends you home. Dispensing medications is an important part of a pharmacist's job. But did you know that these medical professionals actually offer a wide range of other services you might not be taking advantage of?
1. Recommendations for over-the-counter drugs
Say you are sick with a mild cold. You want to take a medication to relieve your runny nose and sneezing, but you're not sure which one is the best choice. You can ask a pharmacist. They are trained to recommend the best OTC medications for people who do not need or have a prescription. They can also help advise you on how long you should take certain OTC medications, what dose you should take, and how to take them. Asking your pharmacist these questions could save you an expensive trip to the doctor, in some cases.
2. Dispensing OTC drugs in another form
Pharmacists also often keep stock of certain over-the-counter drugs behind the pharmacy counter. If you can't take the form of the medications offered on the shelf, the pharmacist can dispense them for you. For example, say you want to take ibuprofen for a headache, but you cannot swallow pills. Your pharmacist should be able to give you a liquid form of the medication. (And no, you don't need a prescription for this since ibuprofen is still an OTC drug.)
3. Taking blood pressure and other vitals
Pharmacists are also trained to take basic vital signs, such as blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and respiratory rate. If you want your blood pressure checked and want to make sure it is accurate, go ask your pharmacist. The same goes for your other vitals. Based on the results, the pharmacist can tell you whether you're within the normal range, or if you should see your doctor.
4. Answer questions about medications
If you have a question about a medication you are taking, you should ask the pharmacist. They can answer questions about side effects, dosing, and more. This saves you a call to your doctor, who in many cases, won't know as much about the medications, specifically, as a pharmacist. If your questions are better-suited for your doctor, your pharmacist can call and ask them for you, too.
Pharmacists do a lot more than dispense drugs. Take advantage of the services above for your own health and contact a drugstore with these services today.