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Understanding your medications – What you need to know
By Nicole Madsen and Larry Patnaude, Pharmacists

When you visit the clinic and talk to your health care provider or pharmacist, what information do you need about the medication you are taking? Here are some questions you should get answered before you leave the clinic:

  • Why do I need this medicine?
  • Are there any foods or medications I should not take with this medicine?
  • When should I take this medicine?
  • How long should I take this medicine?
  • What can I expect when I take this medicine? Are there side effects?

It is also important to remember to mention:

  • Allergies to any medicines and foods
  • Special dietary needs you have
  • If you are using any alternative medicines (plants/herbal/traditional medicines)
  • Any over-the-counter medicines (aspirin, tylenol, cough syrup for example)
  • Side effects from other medicines

Some of the over-the-counter and alternative medicines can interact with medicines prescribed by your doctor. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the potential interactions with your medicines.

When taking care of your medication, it is important to store the medicine out of the reach of small children. If young children are present, is it also a good idea to keep the medication in a child-proof container and to keep the medicine in the same container you received from the pharmacy. Most medicines should be stored away from moisture and sunlight – the bathroom, above the stove, or in a vehicle are not good places to keep your medicines. If you have any unused or expired medications please dispose of them properly. You can always drop off unused or expired medicines at the pharmacy. If any questions come up after you leave the pharmacy, remember you can call your pharmacist at the number on the prescription bottle.

Fond du Lac Pharmacies offer a variety of services aimed at optimizing patient care. Not only do we want to make sure our patients get the correct medications, we are also here to ensure that our patients are in control of their health care. It is important for patients to understand what they are taking their medications for, what to expect from those medications, and the proper way to take the medications. The private medication consultation offered for every new medication dispensed is designed to initiate patient awareness and involvement in their drug therapy. Patients are given the opportunity to discuss medication related issues in a private setting.

Blood pressure monitoring is also available in the pharmacy to patients on a walk-in basis. These blood pressure readings are charted and reported back to each patient’s primary care provider to ensure optimal disease state management. This service gives our patients greater flexibility and access to health care professionals.

We have a variety of programs and services available at our pharmacies. Our pharmacists have developed programs to help with the needs of our community. Look at our website or ask your doctor to see if any of these programs would be right for you.

Many of the services offered through Fond du Lac Pharmacies are not offered in other community pharmacies. We are in a rare position to be able to work with other disciplines such as Public Health Nursing and Health Education to ensure our patients receive comprehensive health care services. We are pleased to be able to offer our patients such innovative and exceptional benefits. We are continually developing new ways to better serve our patients. Please take advantage of what we have to offer and get to know your pharmacy staff. Miigwech

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