A Guide to Good Health

How To Get More Out Of Your Trip To The Pharmacy

Most people don't exactly enjoy going to the pharmacy. If you're often going to the pharmacy, it might be because you are sick or battling some illness, and you can't wait to get home. Since you are taking the time to actually go to the pharmacy, you want to make the most of that visit. Here are some tips to help you do just that.

1. Double-check your prescription before you send it in.

Take a quick look at the prescription slip your doctor gave you. Make sure it clearly lists the name of the medication you need, that it's signed, and that it has the correct date on it. If any of this information is missing, the pharmacist won't be able to fill your prescription, and you'll have wasted the trip. Call your doctor to have any errors corrected before you go to the pharmacy. (You can also avoid headaches of this sort by having your doctor's office call the order into the pharmacy directly. Then you can go pick it up — no slip needed.)

2. Bring your current prescription ID card.

Some insurance plans issue separate ID cards for prescription plans. If this is not the case with your insurance company, then you will need to bring your regular insurance card. Either way, make sure the insurance ID card you bring is the current one and has your name on it. (Don't bring your partner's card if it does not also have your name on it.)

3. Read the prescription instructions before you leave.

When the pharmacist gives you the prescription, take a moment to read through all of the dosing instructions, side effect warnings, and other information. This way, if something is unclear or you have any questions, you can ask the pharmacist about it in person rather than having to call and wait for service on the line. You don't want to make mistakes with dosing because of a simple misinterpretation.

4. Ask any other medication or supplement questions you might have.

If you have had any other burning questions about supplements or about other medications you're taking, ask those questions of the pharmacist while you're already at the pharmacy. This is a pharmacist's area of expertise. They can tell you which over-the-counter allergy medication might work best, advise you on the best vitamin supplements, and so forth.

Make the most of your visit to the pharmacy by following the tips above!