A Pharmacist’s Worldview


My name is Mike Swanoski. I’m the pharmacist
at the Duluth Clinic – Hermantown. Pharmacists do more than just count pills
and decipher doctor’s handwriting. They’re specialists in the use of medications
and how they affect the body. Things that you should know when you go and
visit your pharmacy is utilize your pharmacist. One of the important things is try and use
the same pharmacy. It helps the pharmacist know what you’re taking
and make a judgment as far as when you bring a new prescription in, will that prescription
interact with what you’re getting. Another point is you should let your pharmacist
know if you are taking any over-the-counter medication that could affect your prescription
that you’re getting that day. Uh, it’s a good idea to bring a list of your
medications in to your pharmacy, so that pharmacist knows what you are taking. As well as bring
that list to your physician’s office. Both the pharmacist and the physician should
know what your, uh, what medications you are on. Be sure that you tell your pharmacist if you
have any drug allergies. It’s important that they have that in their database, so they
can reference that when you bring a prescription in. When you come to the pharmacy, always make
sure that you understand what you’re taking and why you’re taking it before you leave. Make sure that you know what your medication
is, and what it’s supposed to do. What are the side effects you can expect? How long is it going to take before you feel
better? Is it a medication that’s going to make you, uh, cure you? Or is it going to just help your symptoms? Make sure that you know if you are supposed
to take that medication into completion, or can you stop when you feel better. Ask questions. It may be helpful to repeat
the instructions back to your pharmacist, but never leave the pharmacy without clearly
understanding what you’re taking and why you’re taking it. And if you get home and you forget, call up
and ask. Uh, read the label before you leave the pharmacy. If it is something that you didn’t expect
to get, or it’s something different from what you
were expecting, make sure you check the label, and check with
the pharmacist to see that that is what the doctor’s ordered for you. Note any warning labels on the bottle. If the prescription says to “Take with Food”
or “Empty Stomach” or “It May Cause Drowsiness,” make sure that you look at those warning labels,
because they’re there for a reason and they’re important to look at. Um, so, your pharmacist is a good resource
for medical information. Make sure you utilize him or her. And leave with an understanding of what you
have and why you’re taking it.