The Role of a Pharmacist in Your Diabetes Care
Most people with type 2 diabetes have medications to help manage glucose levels. Because of this, people with type 2 diabetes often visit pharmacies to pick up medications and supplies. As a result, they may start to develop a relationship with their pharmacist over time.
There are so many services that a pharmacist can provide to you, which often go unnoticed by patients. Pharmacists have an important role in helping people manage their diabetes.
Pharmacists are more accessible than other practitioners
Several surveys have found that patients consider pharmacists to be some of the most trustworthy healthcare professionals. Pharmacists are the most accessible healthcare professionals, as most pharmacies are open late. The barriers to getting in touch with a pharmacist are quite low. You can plan a visit or call your local pharmacy. For most people, speaking to their primary care physician, a specialist, or nurse often requires an appointment ahead of time.1
Pharmacists offer many services for type 2 diabetes care
There are many services that pharmacists can offer you to help manage your diabetes. By visiting your local pharmacy, you can take advantage of these services. Here are a few helpful services provided by pharmacists:
Diabetes product selection and demonstration
Pharmacists can help you select the right blood glucose monitor for you and can show you how to use it. They can also help you figure out why your meter is not functioning.
Reviewing your prescriptions for drug interactions and safety
Pharmacists can help review your new prescriptions to ensure that there are no interactions with your other medications. They can also make sure that your medication is safe for you to take. Although your doctor would usually check this, the pharmacist acts as a second check. Some medications used to treat diabetes should not be used in people with certain liver or kidney functions. For example, metformin should not be used in people with severe kidney disease.
Providing medication counselling
When you start a new medication, your pharmacist can review the new drug with you to ensure that you understand the potential side effects.
Keeping you up to date with vaccinations
People with diabetes are at an increased risk of serious illness from certain infections, so certain vaccinations may be beneficial to get. For example, influenza and pneumonia vaccines are recommended for people with type 2 diabetes. Your pharmacist is often able to prescribe and administer these vaccines if you think they are right for you.
Reviewing your medications
You may want to have a private consultation with your pharmacist to review your medications to ensure that you are taking them correctly. You can request a medication review if you would like to, which is often at no cost to you.
Blister packing your medications for easy use
People with diabetes might be on many medications, and it can be quite confusing to manage them. Most pharmacies offer the option of bubble-packing your prescriptions. This is a great way to help you ensure that you are taking your medications on time.
The benefit of certified diabetes educator pharmacists
Some pharmacists are also trained as certified diabetes educators (CDE). This is an extra and optional training that pharmacists may have. CDEs are very knowledgeable with insulin titrations and are up-to-date with current diabetes care guidelines. You can use this online tool to help locate a CDE pharmacist in your area.
Consulting with a pharmacist for type 2 diabetes education and management can be an essential part of your healthcare team! Do you have a good working relationship with your pharmacist?
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