Pharmacists aren’t just there to dispense medications. They can also give advice on side effects, drug interactions, and much more.

A typical day for the average pharmacist includes a range of questions from “what is this rash from?” to “Is my blood pressure too high?” The job of a pharmacist is to fill prescriptions. But they also offers advice and dispenses information about medication side effects, disease prevention, nutrition, tobacco cessation, diabetes management, and more.

Pharmacist training is from six to eight years in pharmacy school. Students take such courses as organic chemistry, physiology, and pharmacotherapy, and must pass both national and state licensing exams. They also practice communication skills with other students and community pharmacists. They spend a great deal of time interacting with patients in doctor’s offices and hospitals. Here are just some of the things your pharmacist can help you do:

  • Your pharmacist can review your entire medication record for potential interactions, see if you’re taking drugs with duplicate effects, and check on prescription refills.
  • Learn what to take when. Do you take asthma medication taken during an attack or all the time? Can you drink alcohol if you’re on an antibiotic? When should you take birth control?
  • Manage side effects. Is the medication you are taking causing a weird reaction? A schedule change could solve the problem, or your pharmacist might offer options you can defer to your doctor.

Pharmacists are responsible for:

  • medicines supplied to patients
  • ensuring that the medication is being used the way it should be
  • Advising patients about medicines, including how to take them, what reactions may occur and answering patients’ questions.
  • advise other healthcare professionals about safe and effective medicines use, and safe and secure supply of medicines
  • respond to patients’ symptoms and advise on over the counter medications
  • provide services to patients, such as smoking cessation, blood pressure measurement and diabetes management
  • Supervise the production and preparation of medicines and assessments of quality of medicines before they are supplied to patients from pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Where do pharmacists work?

  • Community pharmacies and hospitals
  • Pharmaceutical production or sales in the pharmaceutical industry
  • Prisons
  • primary care organizations
  • universities in teaching and research
  • the military
  • veterinary pharmacy
  • pharmacy organizations