If you need to get a flu shot or talk to someone about possible medication side effects, you can contact your doctor. However, you might also be able to go to your pharmacist. A pharmacist is not a doctor and cannot diagnose and prescribe treatment for serious conditions, but they can tell you more about the medicine you have been prescribed and make suggestions about how to deal with less serious conditions. Below are several ways that they can be an integral part of your health team.
Pharmacists know all about drug interactions and can talk you through any questions you may have about various drugs, including how they interact with supplements and vitamins. If you have a regular, unchanging drug regimen, you may already know that the things you take do not adversely affect one another. However, what about drugs you use periodically? This could be the case for a prescription beta blocker that you take for anxiety as needed during big moments.
The benefit is that propranolol tackles the physical symptoms of performance anxiety, and you can start your online visit with the medical team to learn more about how it can help your nerves. Later, if you decide to pick up another supplement or are prescribed another medication, your pharmacist may be able to discuss drug interactions with propranolol even if you only use it very occasionally. In fact, if you have been using the same pharmacist for a long time, they might even have a more complete record of your medication history than any physician.
Wellness Advice and Minor Ailments
Pharmacists can be great dispensers of wellness advice, whether you are looking to quit smoking, lose weight or make other lifestyle changes. They can be more easily accessible to patients than physicians for quick questions about these topics. They may also be able to suggest medications for minor conditions. How much your pharmacist can actually do for you will vary depending on what state you are and the laws there, but wherever you are located, if you need some advice on a cough that isn’t serious or a rash that is just mildly annoying, your pharmacist can probably help you. They may also be able to help you assess the severity of your symptoms and determine when you might need to see a doctor.
What kind of vaccinations you can get will vary among pharmacies and will also be subject to state law, but if you need a vaccine, you should check and see if your local pharmacy is offering it since it could be quicker and easier than making an appointment with your doctor. Many will offer flu shots. However, you might be able to get many more there as well if you need them, such as vaccines for hepatitis, chicken pox and shingles as well as the MMR vaccine. Many will do this on a walk-in basis although you should check ahead of time and find out if it is necessary to make an appointment. You should also bring any insurance information and be prepared to sign a consent form.