When Should You Call Your Pharmacist?

Most people do not interact with their pharmacist a whole lot. You might call to order a prescription and then see the pharmacist when you pick it up. Maybe you ask them a question or two about a new medication you've just been prescribed, but that's about it. Did you know that once a pharmacist is filling your prescriptions, you can call and talk to them over the phone? Most are happy to answer your questions and give advice — but you do need to know when to call! Here are some key instances in which you should call your pharmacist.

You're not sure if what you're experiencing is side effects

Are you experiencing some symptoms that you think might be side effects to a medication you are taking? Give your pharmacist a call, and tell them what's going on. They can tell you whether you should just ignore the symptoms and keep on taking your medications or whether you need to make an appointment with your doctor. Calling the pharmacist first may save you from having to squeeze in a doctor's visit and pay a copay only to find out your symptoms were just minor side effects.

You want to take an over-the-counter medication

Some over-the-counter medications are not compatible with certain prescriptions. If you're on a prescription medication and are thinking of adding an OTC medication or even an herbal supplement to your routine, call and ask the pharmacist first. They'll review your prescribed medications and note whether there are any interactions to be wary of. If it's not safe for you to take your desired OTC med alongside your prescription, the pharmacist may recommend something else that is safe to take.

You're thinking of discontinuing a medication

Maybe you're taking a certain prescription medication, but you want to stop taking it, either because it is not working or because you think you've found a safer option. It's good to call your pharmacist and have a discussion with them about this first. They may give you instructions for weaning yourself off the medication, or they might even tell you that it's not safe to stop taking it. 

You should never feel bad for calling your pharmacist on the phone. Part of their job is to guide patients in taking their medications. If the pharmacist feels you should be taking to your doctor instead, they will tell you that. Next time you have a question, contact a pharmacist