Pharmacists play an important role in assessing patient medications and
dosages during smoking cessation
TORONTO, Jan. 17 /CNW/ - Consulting a pharmacist, or other healthcare professional, when quitting smoking
boosts a patient's chance of long-term success from three per cent to
30 per cent1. The 34th annual National Non-Smoking Week is taking place from January 16 to 22
and the Ontario Pharmacists' Association wants to remind Ontarians
their pharmacist can help them quit successfully.
According to a recent Ipsos Reid poll, pharmacists are the most trusted
professionals. "As experts in medication management, pharmacists are
also among the most accessible healthcare professionals," said Dennis
Darby, CEO of the Ontario Pharmacists' Association. "They are readily
available to provide advice and information to patients who want to
Through consultation, pharmacists can identify each patient's unique
needs and help determine the option that is right for them - whether
it's an over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy such as a gum,
patch, lozenge or inhaler; or a prescription medication. Pharmacists
counsel patients on the appropriate use of the treatment and what to
expect, including potential side effects and how to manage them. They
can also follow up with the patient regularly to see how they are
People who smoke have another good reason to consult their pharmacist.
Medical conditions such as heart disease, blood pressure, diabetes and
stomach disorders can be harder to manage in a patient who smokes.
"We all know smoking is bad for us, but what many patients do not know
is that tobacco use can impact the effectiveness of many medications
and cause adverse reactions to drugs," said Janet McCutchon, Chair,
Ontario Pharmacists' Association.
Tobacco can affect the action of drugs by interfering with how the body
absorbs, uses and eliminates certain medications, or by changing the
expected response of the drug. Patients who smoke regularly are at risk
of experiencing unpredictable results from some drug therapies,
including insulin, and certain blood thinners and antidepressants.
Likewise, quitting smoking, with or without treatment, may affect the
way a drug works. "Because tobacco increases a person's metabolism,
quitting slows down the metabolism and medication levels may need to be
adjusted," said McCutchon.
"Patients should advise their pharmacists of their smoking status so
they can be properly monitored," continued McCutchon. "Pharmacists can
provide patients with the guidance they need to develop a quit plan,
manage their medication and stop smoking."
Ontarians who want to quit smoking may also be eligible for MedsCheck, a
provincial program that enables patients to book a 30-minute medication
review with their pharmacist at no charge. The program is available to
Ontarians taking three or more prescription medications for chronic
conditions; people with diabetes; residents of long-term care
facilities; and those who can not travel to a pharmacy.
The Ontario Pharmacists' Association is the professional association
that represents the views and interests of more than 12,000 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.
1 Costello, MJ, Sproule, B, Victor, JC, Leatherdale, S, Zawertailo, L,
Selby, P (2010) Effectiveness of pharmacist counseling combined with
nicotine replacement therapy: a pragmatic randomized trial with 6,987
SOURCE Ontario Pharmacists' Association
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