Ask Your Pharmacist: Frequently Asked Questions on Supplements
Many patients aren’t aware of the professional individuals who work behind the counter at their local community pharmacy.
These individuals are highly trained pharmacists who are able to answer any question about supplements, medications and health-related issues. They are trained to educate people on how to correctly consume their supplements for the best results and to minimise any potential side effects. Plus, patients can openly discuss with their pharmacist to find out supplement options that are affordable.
So, the next time you visit your community pharmacy to enquire or replenish your supplements, consider asking the pharmacist these important questions:
#1 CAN MY SUPPLEMENT CAUSE ANY MAJOR SIDE EFFECTS?
Usually, the printed information that comes with the supplement will list all possible side effects. It is advisable to ask the pharmacist directly to address your doubts and concerns. This way, you would be fully aware of possible symptoms that are commonly experienced by others who use the same supplement. The pharmacist will also inform you of potential contraindication risks.
#2 SHOULD I CONSUME MY SUPPLEMENT BEFORE OR AFTER FOOD?
Most people wouldn’t naturally know what would be the best way to consume supplements. Some supplements work better when taken with food, which helps your blood to absorb them properly. Taking certain supplements with food may also prevent you from experiencing certain complications. On the other hand, some supplements work better when taken on an empty stomach. It’s always good to confirm with your pharmacist when purchasing the product.
#3 IF I FORGOT TO CONSUME MY SUPPLEMENTS?
Fret not. Elderly people or working adults tend to forget to take their supplements at the scheduled time. It happens more often than we may realise. However, beware that doubling your dose the next round or skipping it altogether may have side effects, depending on the type of supplement. One way to prevent any untoward consequences is by asking your community pharmacist about the next step to take if you miss a dose. They’ll instruct accordingly and on a case-to-case basis.
#4 HOW SHOULD I STORE MY SUPPLEMENTS?
It’s essential for us to take note of the instructions given for all supplements. Most supplements are sensitive to temperature and its environment, which can compromise their effectiveness. In general , supplements should be stored in dry areas at room temperature. However, sometimes you may be prescribed supplements that need to be stored in the refrigerator. On the other hand, if you’ve been prescribed with supplements that carry a risk for dependence and addiction, your pharmacist may suggest storing them in a locked place away from children and visitors.
#5 DOES THE TIME OF THE DAY MATTER WHEN YOU CONSUME YOUR SUPPLEMENTS?
Yes, a dosing schedule is very important. It is because every supplement that you take has a specific dosing schedule which has to be followed accordingly. It can vary from once a day, thrice a day, after or before meals and so on. You should always be consistent and try to take your supplement at the same time every day for the most beneficial effect of that supplement.
Pharmacists at any local community pharmacies are always ready to serve the people at any time. They are well-versed with the necessary information that people would need with regards to their health. Community pharmacists and their team will use their professional judgment to decide when it is best to offer private consultation, by checking on the patient’s preference. At White Coat 360, our pharmacists understand how vital it is to use medications safely and responsibly. The pharmacies engaged with White Coat 360 can help you learn more about your medication as well as supplements. They will work with you on a one-on-one basis to ensure that you receive the best-personalised care and treatment available.