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Pharmacists are far from being just glorified cashiers. They are a vital component of the medical community that ensures patients get the medicine they need for successful treatment and rehabilitation. These professionals are trained to be both knowledgeable and excellent communicators to ensure that patients understand their prescriptions to achieve this goal.

As a patient, you can expect your pharmacist to answer some questions that you may have about your medication. Here are five topics that you should broach to your pharmacist and expect to have a clear answer before you start taking your medicines blindly:

– Whether a Specific Medicine Has a Generic Counterpart

Every medicine has two names: the brand name and the common name, which is also referred to as the “generic” name. For example, if you were to take a pain reliever for a headache, you might ask for a Tylenol®, which is the brand name for paracetamol, a mild analgesic that provides mild to moderate pain relief.

Pharmaceutical companies give their products different names for product differentiation, but the common name will always stay the same. If one brand of medicine is too expensive for you, ask the pharmacist for any generic versions. Provided that they have the exact dosage and common name, generic drugs will often have the same effect as the branded ones!

– Primary and Side Effects of Any Given Medication

Some medications cure an illness, while others merely control the symptoms. It’s best to have a good grasp of what your prescription is supposed to do to manage your expectations.

Ideally, your doctor will have already discussed this with you at length, but you can also ask your pharmacist to explain the medicine’s side effects to you. Some side effects will require immediate medical attention, while others are barely noticeable. Pharmacists can also advise you on dealing with these side effects, so don’t hesitate to broach this topic when buying a prescription.

– Proper Use of the Medication in Coordination with Your Doctor

Again, your doctor should have discussed your medications’ proper use at length while giving you a prescription. However, if you have any questions, feel free to ask your pharmacist as well.

Some medicines need to be taken with a full stomach, while others are safe to take before a meal. It’s also a good idea to verify how the medication should be taken beforehand. Oral medications are the most common, but other alternative ways are sublingual (allowing a drug to dissolve and be absorbed by the tissue under your tongue), rectal, and injections.

– What to Avoid While Taking a Certain Medicine

Some medications can induce drowsiness, which means that you should avoid driving or operating heavy machinery after taking them. Pharmacists will be aware of any known medical interactions that could occur just by looking at your prescription!

Medical interactions refer to how certain drugs may react with each other, causing them to be less effective or produce certain side effects that you’d rather avoid. By taking the time to ensure that it isn’t interacting with your other medicines or your daily activities, you can secure your health for proper treatment.

– Availability of Delivery Services

With COVID-19 forcing people to stay at home as much as possible, having medicine delivered to your home can lower the risk of contracting the virus. Look for any pharmacies that deliver in your area, and see if they deliver within the same day. Some pharmacies even deliver within the hour.


As trained experts in their field, pharmacists do more than just dispensing medicine. They ensure that you are taking the correct medication and can help educate you with proper dosage and any side effects that you should expect and prepare for.

If you are having any problems with your prescriptions and can’t reach your doctor, pharmacists can help address any discomfort. Whenever possible, look for a pharmacist that you feel comfortable talking to and don’t be afraid to ask for clarifications.

Rite Choice Pharmacy is your best source for medical supplies in Edmonton, Alberta. We have some of the lowest dispensing fees and are one of the few pharmacies that deliver straight to your doorstep. Contact us today to learn more about our services!