You probably think of the pharmacist as the person who hands you the pills your doctor has prescribed. Indeed, this is a big part of their job. However, pharmacists spend a long time in school, and they do a lot more than count and hand out pills. Here are a few services they offer that you might want to take advantage of.

Over-the-counter medication recommendations

Not sure what cough suppressant to take for your cold? Maybe you are wondering what pain reliever is best for headaches. Pharmacists don't just know about prescription medications; they also know about over-the-counter drugs. They are qualified and able to tell you which medications you should take for your various ailments. It's a lot easier to ask for their recommendations than to keep trying drug after drug, hoping something will work. If they think you should see a doctor and get a prescription to deal with what's ailing you, they will tell you that, too.

Flu vaccinations

The flu vaccine is really important for your own protection, and for the health of the population. It can be time-consuming to make a doctor's appointment to get this vaccine, but luckily, you don't have to. Pharmacists are able to give the flu vaccine, and most do it without an appointment. Walk right in, ask for the vaccine, and you'll get it minutes later. (And in many cases, it will be free.)

Custom medication formulation

Did your doctor prescribe you a medication in pill form, when you have trouble swallowing pills? Maybe your child is having trouble taking their medication because it tastes terrible. Pharmacists are able to custom-formulate medication to solve both these problems. They can often formulate a pill-based medication into a liquid form, and they may be able to add flavor to a liquid drug to make it more appealing to little ones. Bring any medication struggles to your pharmacist's attention; they will usually have a solution.

Medication counseling

If your current medication is too expensive, or if they are causing side effects, you can bring these matters to the attention of your pharmacist rather than having to call the doctor. Your pharmacist may be able to recommend a lower-cost alternative or a medication that has the same effects without the side effects. If needed, they can consult with your doctor during this process, saving you the hassle of making an appointment.

Pharmacists are very educated healthcare professionals with a lot to offer. Take advantage of these services and more by contacting a drugstore near you.