When purchasing drugs at your local pharmacy, there are two categories that they can be divided into: prescription and over the counter (OTC) drugs. Prescription drugs are generally much stronger and require a licensed professional’s opinion before a patient is able to purchase them, as they are more dangerous than OTC drugs. This is why your family physician writes all the necessary instructions on a prescription. The prescription is given to a pharmacist who double checks, dispenses, and sells the medication to you. The pharmacist also has an additional responsibility to counsel you on how take the medication.
In addition to the high standards of safety promoted by licensed professionals, there are some things a patient can do ensure a safe experience when filling a prescription:
- Double check that the information you provide to your doctor and pharmacist is accurate.
- Ensure that you request child-resistant lids if there are children in your household.
- Ensure that you receive the appropriate measuring equipment when receiving a liquid medication. It is not advisable that you rely on the volume of your teaspoon at home.
- Find out the best storage methods for medication. Leaving it in a bathroom cabinet is a common habit for many people, but highly unsafe in numerous cases. This is due to the increased humidity in the bathroom, which has a tendency to break down the pills.
- Before you exit the pharmacy always make sure that your prescription matches the drugs provided by your pharmacist. Be sure to ask any additional questions or express any concerns to your pharmacist.