Pharmacies can make mistakes when dispensing medications from time-to-time. It is always best to check to make sure the prescription is absolutely correct before you leave the store with it. Once you get home, some pharmacies will not do anything to help you since it is impossible for them to know if you are being honest or just trying to get more medication.
Before you leave the pharmacy, count the pills in the bottle. Ensure that the count matches the prescription. Pharmacists are human too and can miscount. Pill counting machines are extremely accurate but when a pharmacist manually counts pills they can make a mistake from time-to-time.
Read the Label
Read the label to ensure that the prescription name and dosage amount are correct. Prior to leaving the doctor’s office it is crucial that you ask them what the name of the medication is and what the dosage is. You should know what you are taking for your own safety. IF you take other medications, it is best to ask if you should expect any slight reactions or negative interactions from the medication.
Check for Refills
If a physician has prescribed a medication that has refills, ensure that they are included on the bottle. If refills were expected, and are not listed, ask the pharmacist to contact the prescribing physician. A prescription bottle label can be reprinted if needed.
Read Label for Proper Dosage Amounts
When you are at the doctor’s office, ask them to read you the prescription if you do not understand the medical shorthand used. With this you should ask about the dosage amounts. Make sure that the dosage amount and frequency are the same on the prescription bottle as what the physician explained. If there is a discrepancy, ask the pharmacist to contact the doctor.
Making these checks before you leave is important. Medications need to be properly dispensed, written and labeled in order for them to be safe for you to take. Before leaving the pharmacy, it is ideal to ask about any side effects or potential drug interactions. Ensuring that your prescription is correct can be the difference between you getting well or having a poor reaction that could cause a serious health concern. Many people neglect to count their pills even once at home. This is an important practice to make part of your medication preparation routine. Although the pharmacy is responsible for dispensing the medication and explaining how to use it to you, it is ultimately your responsibility to ensure that everything is correct.
Photo credit – e-MagineArt.com
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