Key Questions for Your Pharmacist

Markey Cancer Center pic
Markey Cancer Center
Image: ukhealthcare.uky.edu

Sherif Mohamed El-Refai comes to his role backed by a doctor of pharmacy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he learned a variety of clinical skills that drive his work. Now an oncology pharmacist at the University of Kentucky Hospital’s Markey Cancer Center, Sherif Mohamed El-Refai is pursuing a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences to expand his knowledge of the profession.

Before walking out of the pharmacy with a prescription, a patient should first know the name of the medication and its intended purpose. Having this information allows the patient to communicate his or her medications in case of an emergency and to share medical history with a new physician.

Patients should be sure that they understand how often and at what time of day they should take the medication and whether they should take it with or without food. Similarly, it is important for all patients to know how long they should continue to take the medication, as some drugs need to act on the body even after symptoms begin to improve.

All patients must know whether the drug interacts with any medication, or with any food or drink that they might consume. Some interactions cause dangerous reactions, while others block the effect of the drug on the body. Patients should be equally aware of any potential side effects, both expected and potential, as well as the pharmacist’s recommendations for what to do in case of a missed or incorrect dose.

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