11 Questions to Ask Your Pharmacist

Your pharmacist can be an important member of your health care team. He or she is a knowledgeable resource on many aspects of medicine therapy and can provide valuable advice regarding such things as timing your medications to work better, common side effects, and more. So take the time to discuss any concerns you may have. Here are 11 questions to help get the conversation started.

  1. What is the dosage of the medicine? Are there other special dosing instructions I should be aware of?
  2. Can this medicine be taken with the other prescription and nonprescription medicines I’m taking?
  3. Should this medicine be taken with or without food? Are there any foods or drinks to stay away from when taking this medicine?
  4. Can this medicine be chewed, crushed, or dissolved to make it easier to swallow?
  5. What should I do if I inadvertently take too much of this medicine or miss a dose?
  6. What side effects should I be aware of?
  7. Can I keep up with my usual activities (such as driving) and routine while taking this medicine?
  8. Does this pharmacy provide special services such as home delivery?
  9. How long do I need to take this medication? Can I stop taking it if I feel better?
  10. Does the pharmacy have an automatic prescription-refill service?
  11. When traveling, what can I do if I misplace or run out of this medicine?

Print this list and take it with you on your next pharmacy visit.


If you’re using a new pharmacy, make a list of all the prescription medicines you’re currently taking—along with over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, supplements, and herbals. Give this list to the pharmacist and ask him or her to review it and store it with your records.

Good Advice for Caregivers

Consider filling all prescriptions at the same pharmacy to make it easier for the pharmacist to track possible adverse drug interactions or side effects.

Speak with the pharmacist about the family member or friend you’re caring for. In addition to asking the questions here, explain some of the things you do as a caregiver, such as helping with meals or visits with health care providers. The pharmacist may be able to provide helpful information, advice, and support.

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