When you hear that October is "Talk About Prescriptions" Month, your first question may be, "What do I talk about?" A great place to start is with the written information that accompanies your medicine. (If you are selecting a non-prescription or 'over-the-counter' medicine, start by reading the "Drug Facts" label on the box.)
Take a minute to read it - before leaving the pharmacy. The medicine information sheet may have some words or directions that you would like to understand better. Understanding fully this written information can help you get the most benefit from your medicine, by helping you use it safely and appropriately.
Remember, "Your Medicine Information: Read It and Heed It."
Even if you are refilling a prescription for a medicine you have taken before, take a moment to read the information sheet. There may be some important updates since you last picked up your medicine.
Next, you may ask yourself, "With whom should I talk about prescriptions?" If you are still at the pharmacy, ask to speak with your pharmacist. Many pharmacies have a special 'counseling' area, where you can ask questions. If it is not convenient for you to meet with the pharmacist in person, call him or her later. Know your pharmacy's hours and, if possible, the telephone number of a 24-hour pharmacy in your area. (Even if you did not fill your prescription there, the pharmacist on duty should be willing to take your questions over the phone.)
It's a good idea to "Talk About Prescriptions" with your doctor, physician assistant, nurse practitioner and/or nurse, too - before you leave his or her office with a new prescription in hand. Click here for a list of questions to ask.
Back at home, re-read and save that information sheet that came with your prescription(s). Your Medicine Information: Read It and Heed It. The National Council on Patient Information and Education urges you to "Talk About Prescriptions" in October and throughout the year.