What Your Pharmacist Can Do For You
Medication therapy management (MTM) is a broad term that refers to a set of healthcare services provided by pharmacists. Essentially, medication management is about making sure that each patient is taking the right medications to get the best benefits. These medications might include prescription medications, over-the-counter medicines, or herbal or dietary supplements.
Why is medication management essential?
People take prescriptions and supplements to improve health and wellbeing. However, some specific interactions between medications and supplements can cause adverse effects. For example, blood-thinning medications should not be taken with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) because people can experience a high risk of increased bleeding.
Who can benefit from a medication review?
Everyone can benefit from a medication review. In particular, people who are taking multiple medications or have numerous chronic health conditions should schedule a consultation with a pharmacist. At this meeting, the pharmacist can review the patient’s medication list and provide education about managing any ongoing health problems. These reviews have been shown to have a significant impact, helping patients to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and improve quality of life.
Choosing the right pharmacy
Patients who have multiple prescriptions at multiple pharmacies are missing an opportunity to build a relationship with the pharmacist. In some pharmacies, healthcare providers don’t always have the time to sit down with patients who need counseling or a medication review. Because of this, choosing the right pharmacy is crucial. Look for an environment where pharmacists are committed to longer consultations, such as through medication therapy management.
How to prepare for a consultation
For the pharmacist to provide targeted counseling, patients must have all the necessary information on-hand. This includes bringing a full medication list, both prescription and over-the-counter, with the relevant dosages listed. Also, be sure to let the pharmacist know about any supplements or herbal remedies, as these also have an impact. In addition to presenting the list of medications, patients should also be prepared to explain the reason for the drug. For example, if the patient has been diagnosed with high blood pressure, this is crucial information for the pharmacist to know.
How often should I meet with my pharmacist?
Anyone who takes more than one medication or supplement should speak with a pharmacist about MTM. Check-in at least once a year to have a full medication review with the pharmacist. In between these sessions, the pharmacist can offer ongoing advisement and check-ins. For more information about medication therapy management, speak with a healthcare provider.