Did you know October is American Pharmacists Month? It’s a chance to remind everyone of the role pharmacists and their staff play, working with your doctors and other health care providers to ensure you are receiving the most appropriate medications, and using them safely and correctly.

Not taking medicine the right way can be an expensive mistake. Taking too much or not enough of a medication, or the wrong medication altogether, for a condition can lead to hospitalization and worse health outcomes.

Pharmacists are medication experts. A lot of work goes into filling your prescription, from start to finish, and it doesn’t all involve pouring pills into a bottle. Your pharmacist ensures the prescription itself is complete, checks for interactions between the new medication and your existing ones, and also verifies that the dosing and reason for the medication are appropriate.

This can be especially important when someone sees multiple doctors who don’t always talk to one another. It is not uncommon for a pharmacist to be the one person that can see every medication you’re taking and let you and your providers know if they see a problem.

Keep your pharmacist in the loop. If your health, medications, or allergies change, try to let us know. Reach out if you ever have questions about your medications, including those purchased over the counter. Even though these items do not require a prescription, they can still interact with your other medications or affect some health conditions.

Pharmacists promote public health and provide vaccinations. If you aren’t sure which vaccines you need, work with your pharmacist and doctor to find out. Aside from seasonal flu shots, pharmacists also provide pneumonia, tetanus, hepatitis, and other vaccines all year.

Partner with your pharmacist. We want you to be healthy, and we are available to answer your questions and advise you about your medications.

Brady McNulty is a staff pharmacist with Bi-Mart in Roseburg, and provides services such as Medication Therapy Management and immunizations regularly.

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