Yes. Expired medicines often don’t work as well, and they can even be harmful. To make sure that you don’t accidentally take an out-of-date medication, you should clean out your medicine cabinet every year, throwing away:
Medications are prescribed in specific dosages to account for:
The most important thing to remember when taking either prescription or non-prescription medications is to follow the dosage recommendations of your doctor or pharmacist. Today’s drugs are very complex, and the dosages tend to be precise for your needs. Either underdosing or overdosing can be harmful. This is why you should never share your medications with anyone else.
Certain foods, beverages, alcohol, caffeine, and even cigarettes can interact with medicines. Generally, water is the best liquid to drink when taking a medication. However, there are exceptions to this rule.
For example, because certain types of aspirin can cause stomach upset, you may tolerate them better if you take them with milk. Certain medications may be absorbed into the body better when ingested with food. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for more specific information.
Here are some examples of potentially harmful interactions between medications and food or drink:
Patients need to work with their health care providers-including pharmacists-to make sure they receive the most benefit from their medicines. Keep a list of all prescription and non-prescription medicine and alternative medicines or dietary supplements you may be taking. Share that list with your doctor or pharmacist.
And don’t forget that if you’re ever a patient in a hospital or health system, you can always ask to speak to the pharmacist if you have medication questions. Working together, we can make sure that you receive the best treatment possible.
Pharmacy compounding is the art and science of preparing customized medications for patients. Its practice dates back to the origins of pharmacy; yet, compounding’s presence in the pharmacy profession has changed over the years. In the 1930s and 1940s, approximately 60% of all medications were compounded. With the advent of drug manufacturing in the 1950s and 1960s, compounding rapidly declined. The pharmacist’s role as a preparer of medications quickly changed to that of a dispenser of manufactured dosage forms.
However, within the last two decades, compounding has experienced a resurgence as modern technology and innovative techniques and research have allowed more pharmacists to customize medications to meet specific patient needs.
There are several reasons why pharmacists compound prescription medications. The most important reason is what the medical community calls “patient non-compliance.” Many patients are allergic to preservatives or dyes, or are sensitive to standard drug strengths. With a physician’s consent, a compounding pharmacist can change the strength of a medication, alter its form to make it easier for the patient to ingest, or add flavor to make it more palatable. The pharmacist also can prepare the medication using several unique delivery systems, such as a sublingual troche or lozenge, a lollipop, or a transdermal gel or cream that can be absorbed through the skin. For those patients who are having a hard time swallowing a capsule, a compounding pharmacist can make a liquid suspension instead.
Yes. Children and the elderly are often the types of patients who benefit most from compounding. Often, parents have a tough time getting their children to take medicine because of the taste. A compounding pharmacist can work directly with the physician and the patient to select a flavoring agent, such as vanilla butternut or tutti frutti, which provides both an appropriate match for the medication’s properties and the patient’s taste preferences.
Compounding pharmacists also have helped patients who are experiencing chronic pain. For example, some arthritic patients cannot take certain medications due to gastrointestinal side effects. Working with their physician’s prescription, a compounding pharmacist can provide them with a topical preparation with the anti-inflammatory or analgesic their doctor has prescribed for them. Compounded prescriptions often are used for pain management in hospital care.