MEDICATIONS and THE PHARMACY

Abby Dumoff
October 8, 2019

1

Use only one pharmacy!

Only use one pharmacy!

Did we mention, USE ONLY ONE PHARMACY!

Using more than one pharmacy can cause all kinds of problems.

• If you’re using more that one pharmacy, they can’t check for generic/brand medication double dosing (see above) or contraindications—the pharmacies don’t know what each other are prescribing.

• It’s inconvenient to run all over town filling prescriptions. If you’re busy, that can lead to you putting off making refill pick-ups. And that can lead to missed doses. (This can even lead to patients discontinuing, or stopping their medications, without the doctor knowing, by stopping going to a particular pharmacy.)

• If you go to more than one pharmacy you can’t get blister packs—The thing that makes getting and taking medication unbelievably easier!

2

Choose a pharmacy that delivers - make your life easier.

And, while you’re choosing that pharmacy, check to make sure their phone system isn’t a killer. Before you commit, give them a call — see how long they put you on hold…

3

Now that you’re using just one pharmacy, have them prepare for you a set of monthly blister packs!

  • Blister packs are the best. They can make getting refills and taking pills WAY EASIER! They’re a sheet of cardboard with a plastic bubble compartment for each set of pills you take during the day, for a week. So, for each day, Monday – Friday, there is a bubble (for example):

▪ for Morning (all the pills you take in the AM).

▪ for Evening (all the pills you take after dinner).

▪ for Bedtime (all the pills you take before bed).

4

Work with your doctor and your pharmacy toward taking medications no more than twice a day.

These are the times most medications are prescribed:

Morning.

Afternoon.

Evening.

Bedtime.

With meals.

Combine times:

  • Take your morning pills with the “with food” pills you take with breakfast.
  • Take your evening pills with the “with food” pills you take with dinner.
  • Take your evening pills at bedtime.

Talk to your doctor.

  • This is mainly important if you find yourself taking pills 3 or 4 times a day. Say to your doctor, “I really want to follow your instructions, but I’m concerned I’ll be forgetful if I have to take medication 3 (or 4) times a day. Is there a way I could only take my pills two different times during the day?

5
Make sure you’re not “double dosing.”

Many of them have funny names like ‘amlodipine besylate’ and ‘Norvasc.’ (Really, would you name one of your kids ‘amlodipine besylate?’) — But here’s another funny thing—amlodipine besylate and Norvasc are the exact same drug—amlodipine besylate is the generic and Norvasc is the brand: It’s called generic/brand medication double dosing. So, if you’re taking 10 mg a day of each, you’re getting twice as much as you need, or should be taking.

These mistakes are actually pretty common. They happen most often when a patient goes to two doctors: one doc prescribes amlodipine besylate and the other prescribes Norvasc (It can also happen when a doctor switches medications, say from amlodipine to Norvasc, but forgets to cancel one of them).

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