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Questions Seniors and their Caregivers with New Prescriptions Should Ask the Pharmacist

As seniors age, their healthcare needs often become more complex, requiring additional medications to manage various conditions. When a senior receives new prescriptions, it’s essential to ensure they understand their medications and take them safely. Pharmacists play a crucial role in this process, providing valuable information and guidance. By asking the Pharmacist the right questions, seniors and their caregivers can make informed decisions and prioritize their well-being.

What is the Purpose of the Medication?

Understanding the purpose of each prescribed medication is crucial. Ask the pharmacist about the specific condition or symptom the drug is meant to address. This knowledge will help seniors and their caregivers comprehend the importance of adhering to the treatment plan.  This can also serve to make sure you understand what your physician is treating.

 

What is the Proper Dosage and Schedule?

It is essential for seniors to take their medications as prescribed to ensure optimal effectiveness and minimize potential side effects. Ask the pharmacist about the recommended dosage and the appropriate times to take each medication. Additionally, inquire about any specific instructions, such as taking the medication with food or on an empty stomach.

 

Are There Any Potential Side Effects?

All medications carry the risk of side effects. Inquire about common and severe side effects of the prescribed drugs. Knowing what to expect can help seniors identify any adverse reactions and seek timely medical attention if necessary.  It’s essential to know what is expected and what is more worrisome.

 

Can I Safely Take This Medication with Other Prescriptions and Supplements?

Polypharmacy, or taking multiple medications simultaneously, is common among seniors. It’s crucial to check for possible drug interactions. Ask the pharmacist about potential conflicts between the new prescription and any existing medications or supplements the senior may be taking.  Sometimes physicians aren’t aware of what other specialists have prescribed.  Have your Pharmacist look at the whole picture.

 

How Should I Store the Medication?

Proper medication storage is essential to maintain its efficacy and safety. Ask the pharmacist about the best way to store each medication. Some drugs may require refrigeration, while others should be kept in a cool, dry place.

 

What Should I Do if I Miss a Dose?

Seniors might occasionally forget to take a dose of their medication. Inquire about the steps to take if a dose is missed. The pharmacist can provide guidance on whether to take the missed dose immediately or wait for the next scheduled dose.

 

Can This Medication Interfere with Existing Medical Conditions?

If the senior has any pre-existing medical conditions, ask the pharmacist about potential interactions or impacts of the new medication. This information is crucial in determining the overall safety and appropriateness of the prescribed drug.

 

Is There a Generic Version of the Medication?

Inquire about the availability of generic alternatives for the prescribed medication. Generic drugs can be more affordable and provide the same therapeutic benefits as brand-name medications.

When seniors receive new prescriptions, it’s vital to approach their healthcare with knowledge and confidence. By asking the right questions of the pharmacist, seniors, and their caregivers can ensure safe and effective medication management. Understanding the purpose, dosage, potential side effects, interactions, and proper storage of medications can lead to improved health outcomes for seniors.

If you have any questions or need further assistance in finding the right care options for the seniors you love, don’t hesitate to reach out to Oasis Senior Advisors at 475.619.4123 or 914.356.1901. Their expert team can provide valuable guidance and support in navigating senior care decisions and can connect you with the resources you need. Remember, proactive communication with healthcare professionals and seeking professional advice can make all the difference in promoting the well-being of our beloved seniors.

Oasis Senior Advisors

Fairfield-Westchester

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Paul and Susan Doyle

Certified Senior Advisor®

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475-619-4123