Saturday 18 November 2017

Pharmacists are there to help

Pharmacists can help older patients with their medical needs.
Pharmacists can help older patients with their medical needs.

Older patients are being urged to ask their pharmacists for help in making sure they take their medication at the right time and in the right way.

Research shows that people who take medicine for more than one condition are more unlikely to take it properly.

One-third of people over 65 in Ireland regularly take five or more medicines and just 15pc of people with three medical conditions say they take their medicine without fail, said the Irish Pharmacy Union. Patients should remember to:

• Check the label and read the leaflet. Follow the instructions provided and ask your pharmacist if you have any questions

• Take the medicine exactly as prescribed and ask your pharmacist what you should do if you miss a dose

• If swallowing tablets is difficult, ask your pharmacist if there is a liquid form of the medicine or whether you could crush your tablets. Do not break, crush or chew tablets without asking your pharmacist first

• Try to take your medicines at the same time every day

• Dividing your medicine in a weekly tray can be a helpful way of making sure you don't forget to take a tablet.

The pharmacists body said pharmacists should be allowed undertake a review of their older patients' medications through a one-on-one consultation with the patient. Chairperson Kathy Maher said they are the most accessible of health professionals.

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