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With cold and flu season still active and allergy season on its way, the¬†American Pharmacists Association (APhA) encourages patients to actively seek their pharmacist’s advice about the proper use of medications. Pharmacists are the most accessible health care provider and are available to help the public choose the best over-the-counter (OTC) medication for cold, flu and allergy symptoms.
As the medication experts, pharmacists are trained in prescription medications, over-the-counter products and dietary and herbal supplements, and can provide patients with important information about how those medications and products may interact with certain foods or one another.
Pharmacists can help patients determine whether they are suffering from a cold, flu or allergies and select products that address their individual needs, or recommend a patient see a doctor or other health care provider when symptoms warrant. A pharmacist can also provide a patient and their family with a flu vaccination and, in many states, other immunizations that prevent the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases.
Treating and preventing cold, flu and allergy-related symptoms are common inquiries for a pharmacist, especially at this time of year. The listing below highlights the #1 recommended products**¬†from the 2011¬†Pharmacy Today Over-The-Counter Product Survey¬†in the adult allergy, sinus and decongestant product categories.
The 2011¬†Pharmacy Today Over-The-Counter Product Survey¬†reveals pharmacists top OTC product picks in 77 categories. The survey was conducted in¬†September 2011¬†and published in the¬†February 2012 edition of¬†Pharmacy Today¬†.¬†It was completed by over 1,400 practicing community pharmacists who are recipients of¬†Pharmacy Today¬†.
The annual survey tracks the OTC products that pharmacists are recommending to their patients as well as the interactions they are having with those patients. With more than 100,000 nonprescription medications on the market and more than 1,000 active ingredients, it’s critical that patients consult their pharmacist to maximize the benefits from medications and minimize the potential for harmful drug interaction and/or side effects.
Optimizing Your Pharmacist’s Over-The-Counter Medication Suggestions
Pharmacists work with doctors and other health care providers to optimize care, improve medication use and to prevent disease. To achieve the best outcomes for their condition, patients should maintain regular visits with all of their health care providers. APhA encourages patients to fill all their prescriptions with one pharmacy, get to know their pharmacist on a first name basis, discuss their medications with their pharmacist, carry an up-to-date medication and vaccination list and share all medical information with each of their health care providers.
** Being a #1 recommended product in the Pharmacy Today OTC Product Survey does not indicate Pharmacy Today or APhA endorsement of any product or service.