Be careful when you use multiple pharmacies. There are many drug safety concerns when you get your prescription medications from several different pharmacies. It is important to have oversight from your doctor and pharmacist.
Some of the drug safety issues which may arise are:
1. Getting two separate prescriptions for the exact same medication.
2. Taking two different drugs at the same time make cause side effects.
3. Over-the-counter medications may adversely interact with your prescription medication.
Here are some examples. Your medical professional may prescribe a medication for you called Coumadin. Coumadin is the brand name. It is a prescription to treat blood clots. Your physician specialist may order the generic drug of Coumadin, Warfarin Sodium. Filling these medications at different pharmacies may cause each pharmacist to dispense both prescription medications. If you don’t inform your doctor or pharmacy you may confuse the medications, take both medications, or overpay for medications you don’t need.
Other issues can occur when you use multiple pharmacies for your prescriptions. If two different prescription drugs are filled at two distinct pharmacies it may cause a drug interaction.Your gynecologist may prescribe birth control pills for you and your family physician may prescribe a course of antibiotics for you. Neither your doctor nor pharmacist will be able to counsel you about whether or not your birth control medication may be ineffective during the time you are taking your antibiotic prescription.
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SOLUTION FOR DRUG SAFETY
If you decide to use several pharmacies to get your prescription drugs, choose a primary pharmacy. This would be similar to how you would select a primary medical professional. The primary or main pharmacy will keep a current list of all your prescription medications. This list needs to include all of the vitamins, over-the counter medicines, herbal remedies and prescription drugs you are taking.
It is also important to include your past and current medical conditions. It is helpful to set up an initial appointment with your primary pharmacy. This review needs to include all your prescription drugs, vitamins, over-the-counter medications with the pharmacist there.
Read our Blog on Prescription Drug Safety.
Have your pharmacist check over all your medications for any potential problems. This is commonly called a brown bag review. Simply put all your prescription, vitamin, and OTC containers in a bag and bring it to the pharmacy for a pharmacist to review.
Become familiar with the different names of your prescriptions. This would include both generic and brand names. Your medical professional can inform you about the different names and dosages of your medicines. If it is unclear ask. Make sure the name is clearly marked on the prescription drug container.
With a small effort, the payoff is great for assuring drug safety!
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