4 Myths Your Pharmacist Would Like To Debunk
Millions of people visit their local pharmacies regularly for important medications, and pharmacists have filled more than 4 billion retail prescriptions every year since 2013. Despite this, many customers aren't aware that their pharmacist is an excellent source of information about both prescription and over-the-counter medication.
Pharmacists often contend with myths and misinformation that can be downright harmful to their customers. This guide will reveal the truth behind four of these frequent myths, and your pharmacist will be happy that you got the facts!
Myth 1: Symptom Severity Affects Dosage
Taking your medicine diligently isn't difficult when you are experiencing uncomfortable symptoms. Unfortunately, people have a tendency to lose motivation as they recover and their symptoms start to decline. If you stop taking your prescription before it runs out, you are robbing yourself of the complete treatment that your doctor recommended.
On the other end of the spectrum are people who are tempted to take extra medication when their symptoms get worse. Though they are polar opposites, both approaches are incorrect. Overdosing can create a medical emergency even when the medication is completely safe at the recommended dosage. No matter how your symptoms have changed, always adhere closely to your medication instructions.
Myth 2: Natural Supplements Are Always Safe
It's hard to imagine that vitamins, herbal supplements, and other natural remedies could ever cause harm, but problems can arise when you consider the complete picture of a patient's medications. Natural supplements are not subject to the same regulations as prescription and over-the-counter drugs, so they could interact with other medications you are currently taking in unexpected ways.
Your pharmacist can give you a better idea of the safety of any natural supplements you are considering. This can be difficult for even the cautious customer, as different products can have varying amounts of the same ingredients. Pharmacists operate from an informed position with a complete overview of your medications and the products at the pharmacy. Your pharmacist can likely recommend alternative vitamins or supplements when necessary to eliminate the risk of an unsafe interaction.
Myth 3: Name-Brand Medications Are Better Than Generic
Brand loyalty is a concept that should be all but left behind when it comes to medication. The cost-savings associated with generic medications don't come from cutting corners when manufacturing the drug. Instead, generic prescription manufacturers use established research to provide a product that is almost chemically identical to the name-brand drug.
Generic manufacturers are able to provide cheaper alternatives to name-brand products because there is less overhead in their production. These manufacturers are able to save costs on research and development, testing, marketing, and advertising, and the savings are then passed on to the consumer. Generic drugs must meet the same FDA standards for safety that are required of name-brand drugs.
Myth 4: Everyone Behind the Counter Has an Advanced Degree
Your pharmacist will almost certainly be able to answer any questions you have about your medication, but the same is not true for every employee in a pharmacy. Like any workplace, there is a hierarchy of experience and responsibility in the pharmacy. Pharmacy technicians play an essential role by preparing, storing, and distributing medications, but they do not have the same training as your pharmacist.
Determining who's who at your local pharmacy can be difficult, but don't be afraid to ask for help! Pharmacy technicians are prohibited by law from providing medical advice in many places, but most will gladly point you to a more experienced employee who can answer your questions.
Medicine is a complicated subject, and having ready access to an experienced pharmacist is a valuable resource for anyone. Don't hesitate to visit your local pharmacy if you have questions or concerns about any medicines you are taking.