Keeping Prescription Drugs In Check
More than 66% of Americans, over 130 million people, use prescription drugs. For many, these drugs are life-saving, particularly against chronic conditions. The number of prescriptions rises by age, with those over 65 needing several pills at once. While these drugs help, using multiple prescriptions may have some unwanted effects. To make sure everything’s okay, a doctor will often ask for a medication review. Medication reviews aren’t limited to a family doctor. A pharmacist is just as helpful for ensuring a smooth medicine regimen.
What is a medication review?
Medication reviews are comprehensive, confidential checks held by doctors on the medication used by patients. These reviews have several objectives.
- First, the doctor wants to ensure the drugs are working effectively.
- Next, the doctor will want to get the best out of each medication, either through removing or adding prescriptions.
- Finally, the patient can also raise questions about the drugs, agree on all medicines, and talk about unwanted side effects.
Here’s what happens during the review
These reviews are best for patients taking multiple medications for long-term chronic conditions. Medication reviews are also vital for people battling various illnesses, whether related or unrelated to each other. To perform the check, the doctor will ask the patient to come in with all current prescriptions. From there, the doctor will ask a series of questions, including:
- If the patient is using the medication as directed.
- How the medicine makes the patient feel.
- If there are any concerns about side effects.
- If the patient is taking non-prescribed herbs, drugs, or supplements.
A final review of the medication helps the doctor to determine if anything needs to be changed.
Where a pharmacist comes in
Today, medication reviews aren’t limited to a family physician. Pharmacists also have the autonomy to discuss and perform medication reviews. A community or hospital pharmacist has extensive knowledge of medication and each drug’s effectiveness. Medication reviews have now become a key task for pharmacists, particularly in the community. Since pharmacists are easily accessible, a patient with multiple prescriptions can have a review with little hassle. Relying on a pharmacist has a range of other benefits.
Improving the effectiveness of medication
Pharmacists have a finger on the pulse of medication. From looking at a patient’s current medicine stack, the pharmacist can make a host of recommendations. For instance, some drugs may be discontinued. There may be other types or brands of medications that will be more effective for the patient. The medication review helps the pharmacist make decisions that can impact the long-term health of the patient.
Pharmacists help patients avoid dangerous combinations.
What’s more important than the effectiveness of the patient’s prescriptions? The potential dangers. A pharmacist’s primary concern is the safety of the patient. If there are medicine or supplement combinations with dangerous side effects, the pharmacist can remove or replace the medication immediately. Furthermore, if something reduces the drug’s effectiveness, the doctor can make the necessary adjustments.
Compounding to make things easier
A pharmacist has the distinct advantage of being able to compound medication. Compounding is the process of creating a prescription in a desired form or potency. If the patient struggles with pills, for instance, a compound pharmacist can make a liquid form. If there is a potential allergic reaction, the pharmacist can create a formula without the allergen.
Are you ready for your next checkup?
Medication reviews are an essential part of a patient’s health and wellness. The check is critical if the patient has multiple prescriptions or has various conditions. Both doctors and pharmacists can conduct these checks. However, a pharmacist can easily change medication or even transform the medicine into a different form. Medication reviews should happen yearly. Make sure to check a local pharmacist or family doctor for a check today.