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Cold, Flu and Allergy Sufferers Can Select the Best Over-the-Counter Medications with Help from Pharmacists
Date:2/27/2012

ms, with your pharmacist.
  • Provide the age and weight of the patient to your pharmacist. This is especially important with children's products or if you are caring for an elderly family member, as formulations may differ depending on weight.
  • Read product labeling, take the medication exactly as directed, learn of possible side effects, and ask your pharmacist what should be avoided while taking the medication.
  • Watch for duplicate ingredients. If you are taking or giving more than one OTC medication check the active ingredient(s) used in each medication to make sure you are not using more than one product with the same active ingredient.
  • Do not use a kitchen spoon to measure liquid medications. Obtain appropriate medication administration aids (i.e. droppers, syringes, spoons, etc.) and ask the pharmacist how to use them properly.
  • Don't give medications in the dark. Turn on the lights if your child or family member needs medication at night. Do not give medication to anyone who is not fully awake.
  • Follow good health practices to prevent the spread of contagious illnesses. Cover the mouth and nose during a cough or sneeze, avoid touching the eyes, nose or mouth and wash the hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer frequently.
  • Remember, most OTC medications are for temporary relief of minor symptoms. Contact your pharmacist or health care provider if your condition persists or gets worse.
  • Pharmacists work with doctors and other health care providers to optimize care, improve medication use and to prevent disease. To achieve the best outcomes for their condition, patients should maintain regular visits with all of their health care providers. APhA encourages patients to fill all their prescriptions with one pharmacy, get to know their pharmacist on a first name basis, discuss their medications with their pharmacist, carry an up-to-date medication and vaccination list and share
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    SOURCE American Pharmacists Association
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