- January 12, 2022
- Jeanne Adams, PharmD, Pharmacist in Charge
- Healthy Living
Have you ever wondered what types of questions people ask their pharmacists? Think you have one of the most common questions? Check out our Independence Hartig Drug Pharmacist’s top three most frequently asked questions and the advice she has for you!
1. What cough and cold medication can I take if I am on high blood pressure medications?
Many people have heard that cough and cold medications are unsafe if you are on blood pressure medicine. The main culprit is Sudafed or its generic Pseudoephedrine. This is used to open the sinuses and allow the mucus to drain out of your sinus cavities. Pseudoephedrine can also increase blood pressure by constricting blood vessels. It should only be taken with the advice of a medical professional. The good news is that Pseudoephedrine has been taken out of the cough and cold medications found on the pharmacy shelves. It has been classified as a control substance and kept in the pharmacy because it is used illegally to make methamphetamine. You must show your license to purchase Pseudoephedrine, and there is a daily and monthly limit on the amount you can buy. This is excellent news for patients with high blood pressure because Pseudoephedrine is off the shelves.
2. Why do my pills look different?
This is a wonderful question! ALWAYS ask if your prescription pills look different or two different pills are in the same bottle. The medicine in the pharmacy comes from a warehouse. The warehouse gets the medications from the manufacturers. Many companies manufacture generic medications. Each company’s version of a medication looks different. It is important for every medication to have unique markings or coloring to tell them apart. Your medicine may look different because a different manufacturer made it. Please, always call your pharmacist if something does not look right – even if it is just a change in manufacturer, you can never be too careful.
3. What can I take for constipation?
There are many causes of constipation. Treating the cause will help prevent constipation in the future. Call your doctor if you have cramping, bloody stools, or are unusually tired. However, if you would like to use an over-the-counter medication, there are many options. Stool softeners, like Docusate, are used to add moisture to the stool and soften it. Laxatives, like Senokot, stimulate the intestines to push the stool along. Other medications, such as Miralax, Benefiber, and FiberCon, draw water into the stool or bulk up the stool to make it fluffier and easier to pass along the intestines. These medications take a few days to get into the stool and make changes. If you want results sooner, try using a rectal suppository or enema to trigger the contractions of the rectum and move the stool out in 30 min to one hour. A final option is drinking Magnesium citrate. It increases the fluid in the small intestines and results in a bowel movement in 30 min to 3 hours.
Have a question? Visit hartigdrug.com or reach out to your Hartig Drug Pharmacist today!