How to ensure a smooth and safe trip to your local pharmacy

As a pharmacist, I fill a fair bit of prescriptions for children and babies.  As a mom, the last thing you want to do is wait forever at a pharmacy with your sick baby.

Here are some tips to help ensure a happy experience at your local pharmacy.

1. The key to ensuring a quick prescription pick up actually starts in your doctor’s office. Take a quick look at your prescription before you leave your doctor’s office. While you might not know what you’re looking for, but if you can’t read a single thing on your prescription, then there’s a chance that we will have to verify your prescription with the doctor as well.  This will mean longer wait times for you (usually next day).

Most children’s medication are also dosed by weight.  Most doctor’s will weigh your child prior to writing the prescription, but if your doctor forgot, it might not be a bad idea just to update them on their weight.

2. Try to register your child with your insurance plan as soon as they are born.  Most of the time, you just need to fill out some paperwork that you can obtain from the human resources department at work.  Plans will not reimburse you if you register after getting a prescription.

3. The pharmacist will usually ask you for the child’s weight when you drop off your prescription.  This is so that we can double check that the dose is correct for your child. If the pharmacist did not ask you for this information, it is not a bad idea to verify or give them that information yourself.

4. If your child has any allergies, please notify your pharmacist.

5. As many children’s medications are liquid, you should use an appropriate calibrated device to accurately measure out your child’s medication. It is generally not a good idea to use a regular kitchen teaspoon for medications. These measuring devices can be obtained for free from your pharmacist. If you have trouble reading the calibration on the device (either because the writing is too small or perhaps too faint), the pharmacist will be happy to draw a line on the device for you.

6. Always ensure the pharmacist has gone over the medication with you. Some medications need to be refrigerated, and some not. Also, certain medications will expire quickly if it had to be mixed at the pharmacy. So, do not keep old children’s medications around the house once the treatment is complete.

7. If in doubt, or if you have questions, do not be afraid to call your pharmacy. You can call us multiple times if you would like.  We want to make sure the medication is being given appropriately.

8. If your child has a preference for a particular flavor, please notify your pharmacist at the same time you drop off your prescription.

9. If you are ever in the pharmacy to pick up an over the counter (aka non prescription) item, always make sure you are speaking to the pharmacist.  Sometimes, a helpful technician will help you, but it is always a good idea to obtain advice from the pharmacist for your child.

10. If you would like to pick up your prescription as soon as possible, the fastest method is to have your doctor directly call or fax your prescription to your preferred pharmacy.  This way, we can fill it while you are on the way to pick up!



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