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Health Information For Parents
If your child is sick, you’ll probably have many questions to ask your doctor. But have you made a list of questions and concerns to share with your pharmacist?
If you’re like most parents, the answer is probably “very few” or “none.” But pharmacists can offer valuable information about the prescriptions they fill and answer questions that affect the patients they serve.
To encourage questions from their customers, many pharmacies have counseling rooms where pharmacists can talk to patients and families privately.
Pharmacists cannot diagnose medical conditions. But they can answer many questions about medicines, recommend nonprescription drugs, and discuss side effects of specific medicines. And some also can provide blood sugar and blood pressure monitoring and offer advice on home monitoring tests.
Most pharmacists who graduated in the 1980s received 5-year bachelor’s degrees. It has become the standard for pharmacists to receive a doctor of pharmacy degree. This 6- to 8-year-program requires pharmacists in training to go on hospital rounds with doctors and be there when decisions are made to begin medicine use. After getting their degrees, many pharmacists get additional residency training so they can work in a hospital setting.
Pharmacists are required to stay updated on the changing world of medicine and to take continuing education classes on drug therapy.
Many pharmacies have private counseling areas where you talk without interruption. Some pharmacists also accept questions over the phone. And if you ask, almost all pharmacies will give you detailed literature about a particular medicine.
It’s never too late to ask your pharmacist a question. Even if you don’t think of one until you get home, you can still call the pharmacist for advice. That’s part of their job.
Many parents ask about allergic reactions. Tell your pharmacist exactly what allergies your child has and what medicines your child takes. This will help the pharmacist prevent harmful drug reactions.
When you get the medicine, always look at it carefully before you leave the pharmacy. Read the instructions to be sure you understand how to give it to your child. Even if the medicine is a refill, check to make sure the drug is the same size, color, and shape that you are used to getting. If anything doesn’t look right, ask.
Consider these other questions for your pharmacist:
Some parents may forget to have their children finish a prescription. If the medicine (for example, a pain medicine) is to be taken “as needed for symptoms,” you don’t need to finish the entire prescription within a set number of days. But with prescriptions like antibiotics, the medicine must be finished for it to be effective.
Throw away any old prescriptions. If your child doesn’t finish a medicine, don’t save it for a future illness because most drugs lose their potency after a year. Do not use after the expiration date
And don’t share medicines among your kids. Pharmacists and doctors recommend that no one take a drug prescribed for anyone else or offer prescription drugs to another person, no matter how similar the symptoms or complaints.
Pharmacists offer this advice:
Using the same pharmacy for all of your family’s prescriptions means that the pharmacist has a complete history of your family’s prescribed medicines.
If you move, consider staying with the same chain of pharmacy stores. That way, your patient profiles and records are in a common computer database. Or ask your pharmacist for a copy of your family’s patient profiles and pharmaceutical history to take with you to share with your new pharmacist.
Giving kids medicine safely can be complicated. Here’s how you can help treat your child’s illness while you prevent dangerous reactions.
If your childâs health care provider prescribed a prescription pain medicine that contains an opioid, you probably have many questions about how to use it safely. Get answers here.
From fertilizer to antifreeze and medicines to makeup, poisonous items are throughout our homes. Here’s how to protect your kids from ingesting a poisonous substance.
In an emergency, health care professionals will have many questions about a patient’s medical history. It’s easy to compile this information now, and it could save critical minutes later.
Your best resource for health information and advice is your doctor – the person who knows you, your medical history, and accurate medical information to answer your questions.
You’ve taken medicine before. But what is it?
Medicines can cure, stop, or prevent disease; ease symptoms; or help in the diagnosis of illnesses. This article describes different types of medications and offers tips on taking them.
Taking responsibility for your own health care means understanding things like prescriptions. Read our tips for teens on filling a prescription.
Tips and advice for teens on refilling a prescription.
You might think of babies and toddlers when you hear the words “babyproofing” or “childproofing,” but unintentional injury is the leading cause of death in kids 14 and under.
Medicines can cause problems if they get into the water supply or the wrong hands. Find out how to dispose of old or unused meds safely in this article for teens.
Opioids are very good at controlling pain, but there are risks to taking them. If you’ve been prescribed a medicine that contains an opioid, find out how to use it safely.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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