Have you ever stopped taking a prescription medicine without consulting a health professional first?

Almost 40% of Quebecers admit they have stopped taking a prescription medication without advising someone, according to a survey by the Ordre des pharmaciens du Québec. As part of Pharmacy Awareness Week, which begins March 12, the College is launching a campaign to remind you that it is important to speak with your pharmacist if you plan to stop a treatment before the end. 

Are you suddenly feeling better? Are you experiencing side effects? Do you feel the treatment is not helping? These are the reasons most commonly given for stopping a prescription medication without discussing it first. Medications for chronic illnesses (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, osteoporosis, etc.) are most affected by this phenomenon. Although their benefits may not always be apparent, their side effects can be much more noticeable. And yet, respecting the prescription instructions for the duration of the treatment is essential to ensuring the medication is effective and improves your health. So no matter the reason why you may be thinking about stopping your treatment, stop to discuss it with your pharmacist first. They are there to help you. They can inform you about your health issue and your treatment, make adjustments to increase the effectiveness of the medication or decrease its side effects, and refer you to the appropriate health professional if they feel your treatment should be adjusted or discontinued.

For more information, visit the page dedicated to this campaign on the Ordre des pharmaciens du Québec website (in French only).

To learn more about pharmacists, their role, the services they provide, and professional activities that have recently been attributed to them, see the page about neighbourhood pharmacies of the Montréal West Island IUHSSC.