30 minutes with your pharmacist today could save your spring break vacation

Ontario Pharmacists' Association encourages Ontarians to speak to their pharmacist

TORONTO, March 1 /CNW/ - Every spring, thousands of Ontarians embark on vacations and, along with luggage and family members, many bring medication. While your passport and camera may seem like the most important things to remember, ensuring you have a backup supply of your prescription medication should be at the top of your to-do list as well.

Today marks the first day of Pharmacist Awareness Week (PAW) and the Ontario Pharmacists' Association (OPA) is reminding Ontarians to include a conversation with their pharmacist in their preparations for spring break getaways.

"In addition to sunblock and other travel essentials, Ontarians should be thinking about talking to their pharmacist to ensure they're prepared to travel," said Dean Miller, Chair, Ontario Pharmacists' Association. "Your pharmacist can review your medication, ensuring none has expired and that you have a backup in case your luggage is lost. Too many people encounter problems on vacation due to forgetting to take their prescribed medication, or needing to find a local doctor to provide them with a new prescription. That's no fun - prepare before you leave home."

In addition to ensuring your medication is up-to-date before your trip, your pharmacist can also answer travel-related health questions such as how to avoid travel sickness, how to prevent traveller's diarrhea, and which regions of the world require additional vaccinations. Your pharmacist will also be able to help you adjust your dosing schedule to avoid missing doses when travelling across time zones.

Whether you're about to go on vacation, or are staying home this spring, March is the perfect time to sort the medicine cabinet. Through MedsCheck, a free provincial program, Ontarians who take three or more prescription medications for chronic conditions can receive an annual 30 minute one-on-one review of their medications from their pharmacists.

"Keeping track of your medication can be difficult, especially when you take several different types," says Miller. "MedsCheck is a quick and simple way for patients to feel confident about their medications all year round."

It's important to note that while many drugs are not harmful once past the expiry date, they may have lost some of their potency over time. Your pharmacist will be able to tell you if your medications fall into this category.

The 30 minutes it takes to have a discussion with your pharmacist could make a huge difference to your vacation.

About the Ontario Pharmacists' Association

The Ontario Pharmacists' Association is the professional association that represents the views and interests of more than 11,000 pharmacists and pharmacists-in-training across the province. The Association works to inspire excellence in the profession and practice of pharmacy, and to promote wellness for patients.

SOURCE Ontario Pharmacists' Association

For further information: For further information: Julie Holroyde, Hill & Knowlton, (416) 413-4625, Julie.holroyde@hillandknowlton.ca; Deborah McNorgan, Ontario Pharmacists' Association, Tel: (416) 441-0788 ext. 4266, dmcnorgan@opatoday.com

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