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What to Check When You Pick Up a Prescription NEXT ARTICLE 

What to Check When You Pick Up a Prescription

We are all busy. Much of the time, when a patient rushes to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription, they are distracted, thinking about the next thing they have to do and not actually looking at the medication being handed to them. While incredibly common, this behavior can lead to insurance headaches, ineffective treatment, and even dangerous medical errors. Do your pharmacist, your doctor, and your health a favor the next time you visit the pharmacy and please STOP, READ, and ASK before you leave with your prescription.

STOP: Did You Receive the Correct Prescription?

Before you even reach for your wallet, please take a moment to look at the prescription label your pharmacist gives you. Is your name correctly written on the label? Is the drug name the one you were expecting to see? Mistakes happen, and it takes less than ten seconds to look at the package and make sure you have the prescription medication you were supposed to receive.

READ: Do You Understand the Dosing Instructions?

Your dosing instructions will be clearly indicated on the label of your medication. Please do not walk away from the pharmacy counter if you do not understand them. The FDA estimates that about 1.3 million people are injured by medication errors annually in the United States. Keep your family safe by ensuring you understand how to properly use and store your medication .

ASK: Do You Have Any Questions About Interactions, Side Effects, or Your Treatment in General?

Too often, patients feel like they are bothering their doctor or pharmacist by asking follow-up questions about their treatment. Nothing could be further from the truth, particularly when it comes to issues as important as side effects or drug interactions. Examples of great questions include:

  • Can I drink alcohol while taking this?
  • Is it safe for me to take ibuprofen with this medication?
  • Any variation of “is this side effect normal?”
  • What time of day is best for my dose?

Finally, all patients should check to make sure they are getting the best price possible for their medication. Before you visit the pharmacy, take a few minutes to use the FamilyWize Drug Price Lookup Tool to compare pharmacy and prescription prices in your area. To date, FamilyWize has helped over 11 million Americans save more than $1 billion on their prescription drugs, regardless of their insurance coverage.

This post is part of our “Ask an Expert” blog series by Ken Majkowski, Pharm.D, the Chief Pharmacy Officer at FamilyWize. Ken brings more than 40 years of healthcare experience to the FamilyWize team, including 14 years of clinical pharmacy experience in retail, hospital, and home care. Read his full bio here .


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