Surprising things pharmacists do

25 September 2017

We all know that we can head to the pharmacy to get our prescriptions filled, but registered pharmacists have a wealth of healthcare knowledge ready to share and make our life that little bit more convenient.

In case of emergency

Many pharmacists can administer first-aid including dressing wounds, giving EpiPens in cases of severe allergic reactions and they can deliver salbutamol to patients suffering acute asthma exacerbations.

You may not need to see a doctor

Pharmacists can help treat thrush, they can give out the morning after pill, they can treat eye infections and they can even supply naloxone to reverse opioid overdose. Some go to people's homes to provide a home medicine review service, which is available to all patients and especially relevant to check for issues in patients taking multiple medicines.

They like to save you money

Generic versions of medicines come onto the market when the original brand's patent has worn off. These medicines have been tested and proven to have the same amount of active ingredient as the original brand. Your local pharmacists will often offer the less expensive brands to help save you money.

They're looking out for us

If it seems like your pharmacist is taking a while to fill your prescription - don't give them a hard time. While prescription dispensing data is collated and stored by the government, the pharmacy that you visit cannot see data from other pharmacies. Be patient, in order to protect us they need to ask questions to make sure the medicine we're being given is safe. If you've been prescribed strong painkillers such as morphine and amphetamines (what pharmacists call 'Schedule 8 drugs') these need to be retrieved from a safe as each tablet is accounted for.

Fido is catered for too.

Just as a pharmacist would process a human script, they can process a script for your pet. This most often happens when your pet's vet prescribes something they don't have available at their clinic.

Thank you to Associate Professor Rebekah Moles and Dr Jonathan Penm for contributing to this story.