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Pharmacists Offer Recommendations to Guide Public Through Cold and Flu Season
Date:1/18/2011

nd offer advice on the best course of action. If a patient has the flu, and it is still within the first two days, a pharmacist can advise the patient and offer solutions including further evaluation and treatment options that may include prescription antiviral therapy from an authorized prescriber. If a patient has a cold, viral sinus infection or has past the two-day window with influenza, a pharmacist can suggest the best over-the-counter medications to fit his/her symptoms.

Optimizing Your Pharmacist's Over-The-Counter Medication Suggestions

  • Discuss the symptoms you are trying to treat, and the duration of those symptoms, with your pharmacist.
  • Provide your pharmacist with a list of all the medications – prescription, over-the-counter and herbal – you are currently taking and any over-the-counter products you have already used and the results achieved.
  • Remember that sometimes, the best medicine is none at all. Your pharmacist may recommend just a few days of rest, adequate hydration and regular, healthy meals.
  • Provide the age and weight of the patient to your pharmacist. This is especially important with children's products, as formulations are different depending on the weight of the child.
  • 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 giving your child more than one OTC medication check the active ingredient(s) used in each medication to make sure you are not giving your child 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 needs medic
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  • SOURCE American Pharmacists Association
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