Questions About Medications for Physicians and Pharmacists
Patients and their caregivers can benefit from preparing for doctor’s appointments in advance. Make sure to consider your questions and concerns about conditions and medications. It may be helpful to take details down for easy recall later. Here are some questions to consider before the next face-to-face with your doctor or pharmacist:
Other Ways Doctors and Pharmacists Can Help
Many people have challenges when taking medications. It’s best to keep your doctor or pharmacist in the loop if you or the patient you’re assisting experience any difficulties. Here are some things that caretakers and patients can ask their pharmacists or doctors about:
Medication-Related Problems (MRPs)
One of the essential things for healthcare professionals, consumers, and caregivers to consider is the potential for medication-related problems (MRPs). Quickly recognizing the symptoms of MRPs can help stop further health issues and unnecessary expensive doctor's visits and treatments. Some signs that a patient is experiencing an MRP are:
These symptoms can indicate a medicine-related problem, and caregivers should immediately contact a medical professional like a doctor or pharmacist if they arise.
Here are some of the causes of MRPs:
A bad reaction to medicine can occur when medication is unsafe. This may be due to a patient's physical characteristics, an allergic reaction, or another of the common MRP causes. Some drugs may also be dangerous when taken in tandem. Before any new drug is added to a patient's regimen, patients, caretakers, and medical professionals must communicate well about which medications the patient is taking, how much, and when.
Here are some other things that might be helpful for caretakers and patients to keep in mind:
Medication can come with significant problems if it isn't managed correctly. Consumers, caregivers, patients, doctors, and pharmacists are responsible for ensuring patients are informed and prepared to take their medication successfully and safely. Anyone on the team should be able to speak up if they don't understand, need clarification, or have questions about the patient's health or condition. The more open everyone is, and the more information is shared, the better chance to give the patient the best care possible.
For older adults on medication, any symptom should be treated as a potential medication-related problem unless proven otherwise. If caretakers recognize the signs and symptoms quickly, the potential for positive outcomes increases. If symptoms interfere with daily routine, a medical professional should be contacted immediately.
Patients and caretakers need to understand the medical condition that is being treated. Caretakers should know the risks and what signs and symptoms to look out for. If caretakers can communicate well, they will be great advocates for their patients. For seniors and older adults, caregivers are essential team members and play an enormous role in the health and comfort of their everyday lives.
Caregivers and patients alike should advocate for themselves and the patient's health. Conversations with medical professionals are only as effective as the details provided and questions asked by the health consumers participating in the appointment. If all participate openly, the best treatment is possible.
Here are important caregiving resources to consider:
National Center on Caregiving
The Family Caregiver Alliance, or FCA, improves the quality of life for caregivers through education services, research, and advocacy. The FCA's National Center on Caregiving provides resources for caregivers, including information on social and public policy and caregiver issues.
The FCA also assists in developing public and private caregivers' programs. FCA provides family services for caregivers in the San Francisco Bay area, particularly for patients with Parkinson's, ALS, stroke, head injury, and other debilitating brain disorders that affect older adults and seniors.
(415) 434-3388 | (800) 445-8106
FCA CareNav: https://fca.cacrc.org/login
Services by State: www.caregiver.org/connecting-caregivers/services-by-state/
The Senior Care Pharmacist provides useful, straightforward information for older adults, including a directory of senior care pharmacists all over the United States specializing in geriatric drug therapy and the specific medicinal needs of older adults.
The NCPIE is a group of more than 130 organizations committed to safer, more effective medicine use through better communication and consumer education.
The Peter Lamy Center for Drug Therapy and Aging, School of Pharmacy, creates content, including the ElderCare Brochures, a series intended to address the complexities of medications and diseases.
American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP) and the ASCP Research and Education Foundation
ASCP members are advocates for the quality of life for patients residing in nursing facilities, subacute care and assisted living facilities, psychiatric hospitals, hospice programs, and home and community-based care. They work to advance the practice of senior care pharmacy.
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