Community urged to Know Your Medicine, Know Your Pharmacist
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Do you know if you are able to take a certain over-the-counter medication with your current prescription medication? Do you need help understanding how your prescribed medication will help you? Your pharmacist is the best source of information for questions like these, and he or she can help you manage your medications to get the best results for your health.
October is American Pharmacists Month and the faculty and student pharmacists at the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy are stressing the importance of speaking with your pharmacist about any medications you are taking.
“The number of people in America taking more than one prescribed medication in a month has increased dramatically over the years,” Patricia Chase, Ph.D., dean of the WVU School of Pharmacy, said. “It’s important that people know what medications they are taking, how these medications can help them and how to take their medications correctly to improve their health.”
Medications can help improve your health, but if not taken properly, there can be harmful side effects. This is especially true if you are taking multiple medications. By speaking with your pharmacist about your medications on a regular basis, he or she will be able to tell you if there is the potential for any medication interactions or if you should avoid any specific foods or activities while taking your medication.
WVU pharmacy students are also observing American Pharmacists Month by participating in community activities to help serve the public and educate community members about managing their health and their medications. On Friday October 1, student pharmacists will be participating in a Health Expo at the Morgantown Mall. Various health screenings and tests will be provided at the WVU School of Pharmacy booth such as blood glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol and body fat analyses. Information about heartburn, immunizations and other health topics will also be provided. On Saturday, October 2, and Sunday, October 3, student pharmacists will be counseling patients on medication management and taking medications correctly and providing information on proper medication disposal at Oglebayfest in Wheeling.
“Health fairs are great opportunities to provide members of our community with services and information about managing their health,” Betsy Elswick, Pharm.D., clinical associate professor in the WVU School of Pharmacy, said. “The fairs allow us to interact with our community members and provide important health tests and screenings that they may not otherwise be able to receive, or may just need in order to monitor an existing disease state."
“Your pharmacist is there to help you by answering any health or medication question you may have,” Chase added. “While October is American Pharmacists Month, we want patients to ‘know their medications’ all the time so they are better informed and get the best results in improving their health.”