It’s doctors who give the prescriptions. But there’s little time for questions in the exam room. Should you take your prescription with food? Are there other medications that may interact with it? Vickie Adams-Lovelace, a Danville, Virginia–based pharmacist, tells us druggists can do much more than fill pill bottles and ring us up. They can:

Help select treatment
When you don’t want or can’t afford to go to the doctor, we can help you choose the right medication to treat your symptoms (although you still need to see a doctor to access prescription medicine). We’ll also suggest when you should see a doctor if symptoms are serious or persistent.

Head off complications
We can tell you which medicine is best for you in case you have allergies or are taking other medications. We can also tell you how often to take it, what to avoid while on it and how to alleviate any uncomfortable side effects.  

Keep your records together
If you stick with one pharmacy, they’ll have your medical history and will be familiar with your physician, medications, how you’re taking them and any complications you’re having. Your doctor can also contact us to discuss this.

Suggest homeopathic remedies
We can give you scientific information on what works, mixed with our experience with that remedy and feedback from other customers who’ve tried it.

Encourage healthful habits
Good health care means maintaing a healthy lifestyle. Though your doctor and pharmacist can help, you are responsible for your own wellness. We’ll cheer on your efforts to get moving and eat well.