Frequently Asked Questions For The Public

Aren’t pharmacists too busy preparing prescriptions to answer questions about medications?

On the contrary, an essential part of our job as pharmacists is to talk to you and discuss any questions you may have about your medications.

Can I ask my pharmacist about correct dosing and possible side effects of common over-the-counter (non-prescription drugs), supplements and herbal remedies?

Yes. Please talk to your pharmacist. Too few patients take advantage of the pharmacist’s knowledge and ask questions about non-prescription drugs and alternative therapies.

Why does it take so long to get my prescription filled?

There is a lot more to preparing your prescription than counting pills, typing a label and sticking it on a container. Your pharmacist checks the medication, dose and instructions to make sure they are right for you. S/he reviews your medication profile to check for possible problems. This may include allergies or interactions with other medications you are taking. Your pharmacist enters the details of your current prescription onto your medication profile. Once your prescription is filled and checked your pharmacist talks to you about why you have been prescribed this particular drug. S/he counsels you on how and when to take your medication, what potential side effects you may need to watch for and how to store your medication.

Why does the pharmacist ask me questions about my medical conditions? Do they really need to know that?

Your pharmacist’s main responsibility is to find, fix and prevent drug related problems. Many medications can be used for more than one medical condition. In order to ensure that your medications are appropriate for you and that you will get the most benefit from them, your pharmacist has to understand why you are taking the medications.

Sometimes my pharmacist phones my doctor with some questions. Why do they need to bother the doctor?

Your pharmacist’s main responsibility is to find, fix and prevent drug related problems. Many medications can be used for more than one medical condition. In order to ensure that your medications are appropriate for you and that you will get the most benefit from them, your pharmacist has to understand why you are taking the medications. Sometimes they need to contact your doctor to confirm the reason the medication has been prescribed, or they may have some suggestions on a different medication or a different dosage that might work better for you. They may also want to talk the doctor about the other medications you are on, especially if there is a possibility of an interaction between two or more of your medications.

©2017 Newfoundland & Labrador Pharmacy Board