Line art icon of a pharmacist  Ask the Pharmacist

Your Express Scripts Canada pharmacist is a healthcare professional with a wealth of knowledge on a wide range of health topics. If you have a question about your health or medication, chances are, your Express Scripts Canada pharmacist knows the answer.

Click here to read the answer to our featured question

Question:

I take several medications and I’m worried about drug interactions. Can my pharmacist help?

Answer from Express Scripts Canada Pharmacist, Alan Strashok:

  • The short answer is yes. Your pharmacist is a medication expert, and can help ensure your safety.
  • Drug interactions can be a big worry if you’re taking more than a few different medications, especially if they are prescribed by different doctors.
  • By looking at all the medications you’re taking, a pharmacist can tell you if you are taking two or more medications that interact or “don’t get along”.
  • They can also advise you on how to take each medication to maximize the benefits and avoid potential problems.
  • Of course, you are your own best safety advocate.
  • Your pharmacist may not know about all the medications you’re taking. Have your drug card with you, or bring a list of what you’re taking.
  • And don’t be afraid to ask questions. For example:
    • Are there any potential conflicts between my medications?
    • What is each medication supposed to do?
    • How do I know if they’re working?
    • What side effects should I watch for?
    • How long do I need to keep taking the medication?
    • Do I need any tests and when should I book my next follow-up visit?
  • The Express Scripts Canada Pharmacy goes even further to ensure patient safety:
    • With your permission, we can usually look to see your drug claims history to tell you if, for example, you’re taking two medications that may treat the same condition.
    • We can also tell you if there is a potentially better or less expensive medication than the one you’re taking.
    • If you like, your Express Scripts Canada pharmacist can even talk to your doctor on your behalf.
  • To further improve safety, our pharmacists can call you before you start a new medication, to make sure you understand how to take it, and be available to answer any questions.
  • Of course, our pharmacists are also available to talk to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week about any of your health-related concerns.

Your health care providers have your best interests at heart, but you can help to ensure your own safety by arming yourself with all the information you can. If you have a question, just ask the pharmacist.

Until next time, I’m Alan Strashok, and this has been another episode of Ask the Pharmacist. I wish you good health.

 

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