Everyone has questions from time to time about their medications. Your pharmacist is a great resource to help answer these types of questions! Pharmacists are the medication experts on your healthcare team. They have extensive education about medications, how they interact with one another, and how they can support your health. Here, we provide some answers to common medication-related questions featuring one of ExactCare’s own clinical pharmacists, Reeya Patel, PharmD, BCMTMS.
Reeya Patel, PharmD, BCMTMS
Supplements can help improve or maintain overall health, but they can also pose health risks. Supplements are intended to enhance your diet to ensure you receive adequate nutrients. They should not replace food. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), common forms of supplements include:
The top types of supplements are:
Supplements can change the way a medication works. This includes the absorption, metabolism, or break down of a medication. Also, they can affect the potency. This means you could end up getting either too much or too little of the supplement or a prescription medication. Don’t assume “natural” means safe. If a supplement contains new dietary ingredients, the manufacturer must submit data to the FDA before they can sell to consumers. The FDA will review the ingredient safety. Just because an ingredient is safe, does not necessarily mean it’s effective. The FDA reports that problems are most likely to occur if you:
Stop taking a supplement immediately if you notice any bad reactions or side effects. Contact a medical professional who can assist and file a report to the FDA. They can contact the manufacturer and remove a product from the market if it is unsafe.
You should talk to a pharmacist before you start taking something new or there is a change in your health. You can start by asking about the supplement. Here are some questions to ask:
Consider the following:
They should only be taken as prescribed on the label and are not a magic fix. If a label sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Always bring a list of medications you are taking to all of your doctors’ appointments (Primary Care and/or Specialists). This list should include prescriptions, supplements and over-the-counter medications. You should include dosages and how many times a day you take them. Having this information on hand will help your prescribers give you better advice and keep you safer. They can assist with deciding what supplements (if any) could be right for you. Many people have opinions and advice about what you should be taking, but only your healthcare team is qualified to give you advice. They have access to your health information and can help you make decisions that are in your best interest. If you are an ExactCare patient with a question about supplements, call us! You can reach out to our pharmacy at 1-877-355-7225.
Information featured on the ExactCare website, including the Ask a Pharmacist page, should not be considered medical advice. Please consult your pharmacist or doctor for advice regarding your personal health situation. If ExactCare is your pharmacy, call us directly to talk to your pharmacist: 1-877-355-7225
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ExactCare is a national medication management and pharmacy provider that helps people with complex medical needs overcome medication-related and chronic care challenges.
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