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Staying on top of your health can be a 24/7 effort. Luckily, there are several people on your healthcare team who are available to help you out, including an often overlooked reference – your pharmacist.  

Spoiler alert: Pharmacists offer much more than just a smiling face when you pick up your prescription medications at your local pharmacy.

The role of a pharmacist on your healthcare team

Pharmacists are one of the most important members of your healthcare team. Not only can they tell you everything you need to know about your medications and how they may affect you, they can offer personalized advice to help you feel well and stay healthy.

Top questions to ask your pharmacist

Here are some useful questions to ask your pharmacist – in person or over the phone.

  1. What is this medication, and what is it for?

    Your pharmacist can help you understand more about your medication, why you’re taking it and how it works. Knowing what to expect from what you’re taking will help you ensure that it is working correctly and that you are following proper medication safety.  

  2. Does this medication have any side effects?

    It is important that you know how medications will affect your body. Your pharmacist can talk you through the side effects and how to best manage them. “As an example, some medications have side effects that are attributed to exposure to sunlight which may make you more sensitive to sunburn or alter the color of your skin. As we get toward warmer weather, ask your pharmacist if your medications may have this effect and what to do to help prevent it,” says Erika Brown, PharmD, lead pharmacist at Gundersen Pharmacy - Holmen.

  3. What if I forget to take my medications?

    We’re all forgetful from time to time, especially things that we do every day. A pharmacist can help you understand what to do if you miss a dose to avoid an increase in side effects or overdosing on a medication.

  4. Does my medication interact with any other medicines, supplements or foods?

    Many prescriptions and over-the-counter medications interact with other things that you may be taking or eating. For that reason, some medications may need to be taken on an empty stomach or independent from other drugs or supplements. It’s important that you let your pharmacist know what medications you’re currently taking so you can figure out a plan that’s best for you.

  5. Does Gundersen Pharmacy offer specialty pharmaceuticals to help treat complex chronic conditions like multiple sclerosis or cancer?

    If you’re dealing with a chronic condition that requires specialty pharmaceuticals, we can connect you with Gundersen Specialty Pharmacy so you can get the skilled, personalized support needed to manage your condition and medicine. Ask your pharmacist how you can get started with this service today.

  6. I’m sick. Which over-the-counter medications will help me feel better?

    Feeling under the weather? Give your local Gundersen Pharmacy a call. A pharmacist can chat with you about your symptoms and suggest over-the-counter medicines that may help you feel better. “Combination products may have ingredients that are not necessary to make you feel better,” explains Erika. “We can suggest tailored products just for your symptoms and let you make the best-informed decision for your care.”

  7. What’s the easiest way to get my prescriptions?

    Gundersen pharmacies make it easy to get your prescriptions filled. Talk with your pharmacist about the option that is most convenient for you:

    “If you’d rather not use technology to order refills or just to make sure we received your request, feel free to give your local pharmacy a call,” says Erika. “We are always willing to help.”

    Looking to fill a maintenance medication? Ask if you’re eligible for a 90-day supply to limit the amount of trips you need to take to the pharmacy.

How do I contact my local Gundersen Pharmacy?

Tap into the wealth of information that your local Gundersen pharmacist has to offer. Our pharmacists are happy to answer your questions and help you with your individual needs.

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