Sunday, February 08, 2009

Check Your Drug Profile At Your Pharmacies

Check Your Drug Profile At Your Pharmacies

We should all check our profiles at our pharmacies probably every three months for the health and safety of ourselves and our families.

Pharmacies are advertising that they can check for allergic reactions and drug interactions when they have a complete picture of the drugs you or other family members are taking. Even when you need to take a drug of the shelf that does not need a prescription you should take it to the pharmacist to check for interactions or to find out what the pharmacist recommends for you or your spouse or each child you may have. The pharmacist needs to have a complete profile of all of the drugs you or family member are taking including the non-prescription ones.

It is always best to go to one pharmacy with all of our prescriptions where the pharmacist and the computer has a complete record. Too many people fill prescriptions at multiple pharmacies where the pharmacist and computer do not have our complete record. Sometimes patients also use mail order pharmacies. I do not think it is even safe to go to different branches of a drug chain where I doubt the pharmacist or his/her view of you on the computer has your complete record.

Even if you think your profile is perfect, it may not be. Computers crash and recoveries may be imperfect. Systems are designed and developed by humans who are capable of errors. Important data may be lost and they may not know it at the pharmacy. They may convert from one system to another and ignore some of the critical data. I have a serious drug allergy and a major drug chain lost the information which I am glad I checked with them.

Some medicines do not go well with each other. Some people are allergic to some ingredients of some medicines. We also have to pay attention to the stickers on the medicine bottles that sometimes tell us to take with water, or to take on empty stomach, or to avoid sunlight, or avoid dairy products, or to avoid grapefruit, or avoid other things.

Your doctor(s) are your first layer of good drug health because they prescribe the drugs you take. Frequently patients go to more than one doctor that prescribe for them. Patients must keep a complete list of drugs they are taking to show to each doctor and every pharmacy that they purchase drugs from. Sometimes it is best for a patient to put all drugs they are taking in a bag or box to bring with them on each doctor visit or pharmacy visit.

Pharmacies should allow people to give them names of the drugs and prescribing information they are taking but did not fill the prescription at their store to enter into their computer for better checking of allergies and interactions.

Right now you or a family member may be in jeopardy if something goes wrong and you did not communicate with your doctors and or did not maintain a complete record of your prescriptions and non-prescription drugs at one pharmacy. Only you can prevent an emergency room visit, serious injury, or even death by having better communications with your doctors and having a complete record at your pharmacy.