Even when using natural products, it’s still important to talk to your pharmacist and here’s why.

The best-known role of the pharmacist is to deliver the medications that have been prescribed to you. When giving them to you, they should make sure that they are the right medications for you, that the recommended dosage and frequency are correct, and that all medications are compatible. They have full responsibility for prescription issues. They can refuse to provide a drug they think is harmful or contact your doctor if they think the treatment is not appropriate for your condition. They must also make sure that you understand the instructions for the use of the medications and that you respect them between each of your visits. They will usually help you with tips that can improve the effectiveness of your treatments.

Natural products can interact with your medications by altering their absorption and reducing or increasing their effectiveness. It is therefore always important that your pharmacist is informed of the products you wish to use; whether purchased from or outside the pharmacy. They may not know the product or may not be comfortable answering your questions adequately. If in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask for a second opinion. You should never consume natural products without the advice of a pharmacist on the pretext that they didn’t know the product, or that they did not tell you what you wanted to hear. The product considered may not be suitable for you? Maybe your pharmacist needed more information?

As a pharmacist, we are required to respect the rules of our professional order, and are also required to follow several training courses to always keep our knowledge up to date, but we cannot do all of them, including the few trainings that exist concerning natural products. Thus, some pharmacists will not know certain natural products or will simply be less comfortable professionally by this aspect of their practice. They can decide not to use or advise them. This is part of the freedom to exercise the profession. You can get information from different pharmacists to get answers to your questions. And often, in the same pharmacy, there will be differences in the individual practice of each pharmacist, so do not hesitate to ask for a second opinion.

Your pharmacist should be your first counselor for the consumption of all over-the-counter medications and health products. It should be on record what you consume in your pharmaceutical record so that you can always refer to it. The pharmacist and their staff are bound by professional secrecy; all your information will be kept confidential.

Remember that the information you find on the internet or the advice given to you by some companies may be wrong. Trust your pharmacist and do not rely solely on what the Internet, social and traditional media say, and the advice of the “GOOD neighbor who knows everything”…

As a pharmacist, on a daily basis, I meet several patients who are not entirely relieved by their treatments, so I try to adjust everything to the best of my knowledge and I use all the solutions available to me to improve their quality of life, including good natural products adapted to the condition of my patients. Miracle cures do not exist because I believe that the treatment of an illness or medical condition is not the result of a product, but of a combination of factors (drugs, natural products, professional support, lifestyle, etc.). So, as a pharmacist, I’m here to make sure that all of these elements will be in place to help you get optimal pharmacological treatment.

Philippe Leng, Pharmacist owner