I was recently asked by a friend to review a loved one’s medications. Touching base to set up a meeting time, I was informed that “a nurse had already reviewed the meds and all is well. Thank you for your offer”.

That is when I had a professional crisis!!! How devastating to have my passion and 20+ years of training and not have a clearly recognized place in this health care system! REALLY???

Why do people need pharmacists if doctors and nurses can review their medications?

And then I realized that pharmacists need to do a better job of educating the public about what we do, besides counting pills, requesting refills, and knowing which aisle to find the toilet paper.

After some serious reflection, I have come back up for air and realized we need to do a better job of educating the public about the very important role pharmacists play in this health care system and proclaim it throughout the land!

The answer is a pharmacist views your medications with a different perspective….

When a physician sees decreased appetite, lethargy, and significant weight loss, a pharmacist may see digoxin toxicity (I had this scenario 3 times in a single week last year. And yes, three different patients).

When a patient receives a new diagnosis of gout and are prescribed a new medication, a pharmacist checks to make sure they aren’t on Hydrodiuril. Is it other medications causing the issue? Can one med be changed in order to eliminate the need for a new med?

When a family member sees rapidly worsening dementia, a pharmacist sees that the dementia patient started taking an over the counter sleep aid which worsens the condition and opposes the dementia medication meant to help.

When a patient complains of mouth pain, a pharmacist sees that she is on an inhaled steroid and ask if she has been rinsing out her mouth after her treatments.

When a patient complains about leg cramps, a pharmacist checks to see if they are on a diuretic or statin.

When a patient presents a prescription with a ’30 day free’ coupon, a pharmacist sees high dollar copays for the duration of therapy when there may be a lower cost alternative.

When a nurse sees a patient’s blood pressure increasing, a pharmacist sees the recent addition of a nasal decongestant, over the counter pain reliever, or antidepressant.

And the list goes on…

This is a pharmacist’s expertise, along with the ability to help lower medication costs, number of medications taken, and optimizing medication therapy to decrease side effects and drug interactions.

If you or a loved one would like a medication therapy review, please contact us at 513-227-8337 or through our website at www.syneRxgy.com for a free get acquainted call.