7 Everyday Questions (and their Answers) asked at the Pharmacy

Your pharmacists are not only dispensing your prescription medication or sell you over the counter medicine and complementary supplements, he or she will also answer questions regarding these medications and their workings.

7 Questions and Answers commonly asked:

  1. How do I know how my medications should be stored?

Prescriptions are mostly stored at room temperature where it is cool and dry.  Preferably, medication should be stored away from direct heat or sunlight and also away from moisture.  Moisture and adverse heat or cold may affect the stability of medications.  The medicine cabinet in the bathroom isn’t actually meant for medicine.  When your medications should be refrigerated, the pharmacist will inform you when dispensing it to you.

  1. If I miss a dose of my medication, what can I do?

Take the missed dosage immediately.  However, if it is near the time for the next dose, skip the missed one, and carry on with the regular schedule.  Do not take any extra dosage or double doses.

  1. How can I check if my medication has expired?

Mostly the expiry date will be marked clearly on the label in the upper right-hand corner.  It will state month and year of expiration.  This date is given by the manufacturer at the time of production of the medication.

  1. If my medication looks different from previous times, how can I be sure it is the correct medicine?

If you cannot find a note indicating that the medication has changed, or that a different brand of the same medicine was given to you, call the number that should be printed on the medicine bottle or packaging.

  1. If I experience a bad reaction to medication, what should I do?

If you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms like tightness in the chest, high fever, wheezing, blue skin colour, swelling of the tongue or throat, you should contact the nearest emergency services.  If it does not seem too extreme you need to speak to your pharmacist directly.  Your patient profile can then also be updated to avoid future mishaps.

  1. How can I know if it is safe to take new prescriptions medicine with the medication I take currently?

It is important to keep your pharmacist up to date with all the medicine that you take daily, including over-the-counter drugs, herbal and vitamin supplements.  All information is kept on your computer profile and the system will identify and review possible interactions when a new medication is prescribed.  Your pharmacist will notify your doctor of possible problems and they will resolve this beforehand.

  1. How can I dispose of unwanted or expired medications without harming the environment or someone else?

Most pharmacies have a service where you can bring your unwanted and expired medicines and they will dispose of it.  The medications will be taken to a safe area where they can be disposed of without causing harm to water or land.

When in doubt, ask your pharmacist.