Have questions about your medications? ISU College of Pharmacy can help

Do you have questions about the use of your medications? Consumers with questions about their medications don't have to worry about where to get information. Pharmacists are their best and most accessible medication experts.

During the month of October, Idaho State University College of Pharmacy students and faculty members will host several events to educate the public about the role of a pharmacist and how patients can get answers to medicine-related questions.

In conjunction with American Pharmacist Month, sponsored by the American Pharmacist Association (APhA), the student chapter at ISU will promote the pharmacy profession with published articles about common questions, sponsor an ISU football game with an information booth at the pre-game Bengal Fest, and host an open house at the College on Oct. 26 from 5 to 7 p.m.

The theme of American Pharmacists Month, "Know your medicine, Know your pharmacist," encourages patients to get to know the resources a pharmacist may provide.

For example, did you know that taking your medications properly is one of the best ways to avoid future health care costs? Each year, thousands of people end up in the hospital, fail to get better, and spend more money than necessary simply because they do not take their medication properly, according to APhA.

Pharmacists can educate patients about medications, both prescription and nonprescription. The APhA says that every person should be able to answer several questions before taking any new medication. Many of these questions include the length of time a medication should be taken; determining if a medication contains anything that can cause an allergic reaction; determining if alcohol or any other medicines, foods or activities should be avoided while taking the medication, and other concerns.

APhA says that consumers should expect a higher level of service from today's pharmacists. Consumers should look to their pharmacists to provide medication-counseling services, including drug-regimen reviews and drug-interaction checks, coordination of patient care with physicians and other health area providers, and monitoring of side effects. Some pharmacists can also perform limited patient testing, such as cholesterol screening, glucose monitoring and blood pressure checks, for serious health-threatening problems.

During the Oct. 26 College of Pharmacy open house, clinical pharmacists, faculty and students will be available to answer these and several other questions. In addition, the open house will feature tours of the College, refreshments, information regarding immunizations, heartburn awareness programs, diabetes education and poison prevention.

For more information about the ISU College of Pharmacy open house, call 282-4597.