Select a health category:
- Advice for Life Awards
- Blood Pressure
- Cold & Flu
- Skin Care
- Smoking Cessation
The Best Advice
Each day we are surrounded by an overwhelming number of medications and many sources of medical advice. The best advice is to talk to your pharmacist, who will work with you and with other members of your health care team to make sure you choose the best medications to look after your health.
Your pharmacist can:
- prevent drug interactions and allergic reactions
- help you with over-the-counter medications
- provide you with information to properly take your drugs
- give advice on non-prescription and natural health products
- offer assistance with your weight-loss or stop-smoking goals
- monitor and help manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, or high blood pressure
- follow up with you to monitor your response to your medicine and to provide additional support
Do not leave the pharmacy until you fully understand how to use your medication properly. Be comfortable in asking your pharmacist these necessary questions:
- Why am I taking this medication?
- How and when should I take this medication?
- Do I have to wake up during the night to take my medication?
- Is there anything I should or should not eat or drink while I am taking this medication?
- Are there any side effects I should watch for?
- Will my medication interact with other drugs?
- Can I drink alcohol while I am taking this medication?
- Will the medication be affected by over-the-counter medications like painkillers or antacids?
- Will the medication be affected by vitamins or herbal supplements?
- Can I take this medication if I am pregnant or breast-feeding
Ultimately, it is your responsibility to look after your own health. Take your medication properly and work towards improving your health with the help of your PharmaChoice pharmacist.
Tips for Safer Medication Use
- If you take multiple medications, ask the pharmacist to make a schedule for when and in what order to take them.
- If your dosage schedule is changed, make sure you or your doctor informs the pharmacist.
- If you have ever had a bad reaction to an allergy to a drug, or there are changes to your medical condition, tell your doctor and pharmacist and make certain this information is in your file.
Stocking Your Medicine Cabinet
Every spring, you should clean your medicine cabinet of old or expired non prescription medications. Of course there are some basic items your PharmaChoice pharmacist recommends that you should have at home. They include:
- Prescription medications you are taking
- Pain and fever relief
- Common non prescription medications your family uses for conditions such as allergies, colds, flu, stomach, or intestinal relief
- Medicine spoon or oral liquid syringe (household spoons are not accurate enough)
- First aid supplies
Your PharmaChoice pharmacist can assist you in selecting the best items to meet your condition and lifestyle needs.
Take Travel Precautions
Did you know that the over-the-counter drugs for sale at PharmaChoice aren’t always easy to find when you travel to other countries. Just in case, take some along. Products such as medication against diarrhea or allergic reactions could make your vacation much more enjoyable.
Some non prescription medications available in foreign countries may cause allergic reactions or may be counterfeit and not contain any actual medication. It’s always safer and more effective to bring your own.
If you have a chronic medical condition, carry a letter from your health care provider outlining your situation and required medications.
Always carry a list of your medications with you, including the dosage and your reason for taking them, any allergies you have, your blood type and the name of a contact person. Also include contact information for your regular health care provider (e.g., family physician). If you end up in hospital while travelling, this information will be the first thing health care providers will need.
Source: Public Health Agency of Canada and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Safe Medications for Seniors
It is well known that the senior age group is the fastest growing portion of the population. Studies have shown that two thirds of these individuals are taking at least five medications! These medications are probably the most important factor in improving the quality of life for seniors. However, more medications increases the risk for adverse effects due to drug combinations and because the body processes medications differently as it ages. Over one-quarter of emergency room visits are preventable drug related problems!
Here are some helpful tips to minimize drug-related problems:
- Always go to the same pharmacy to fill your prescriptions.
- Always talk to your pharmacist before taking any over-the-counter medications, vitamins or supplements.
- Take only medications prescribed for you.
- Ask your pharmacist about the best time to take your medications to minimize the number of doses you take each day.
- Ask your pharmacist about medication packaging programmes to make taking your medications less complicated.
- Ask your pharmacist for a current medication list and keep it in your wallet with your health card.
- Ask your pharmacist for an annual medication review if you take three or more medications.
- Wear a Medic-Alert® bracelet if you take Warfarin, Insulin, Digoxin, Amiodarone, or have any drug or food allergies.
Remember your PharmaChoice pharmacist is here to make sure the right patient has the right dose of the right drug at the right time. Come in and talk to us! We’re here to help!