Friday, June 13, 2008

For Drug Questions, Check Out our new ePharm

This week, eDocAmerica launched a new service, ePharm, in which patients can ask any question related to medication. In the past, patients often directed medication questions to our eDocs, and they are certainly still free to do that. In fact, in some circumstances, a medication question is much more appropriately directed to a doctor than to a pharmacist. However, in others, you may actually get more specific or better information from the pharmacist than you would from the doctor. Examples which might be better answered by pharmacists include differences between generics and brand name drugs, drug side effects, and drug-drug interaction questions. Questions related to the clinical effects and effectiveness of drugs are mostly, probably, still best directed toward the physician, although clinical pharmacists, such as the one on our team, can often provide valuable input on these issues as well.

If you are comfortable making this decision to whom to direct your question, just log directly onto "ePharm", using the new icon on our menu or just use "eDoc" like you have in the past. If you aren't sure, go ahead and direct your medication question to the eDoc and, if he feels that the pharmacist is better positioned to answer it, he/she will forward it to him.

Our ePharm professional is Eric Schneider, PharmD. I had the pleasure of working with Eric several years ago when he served on the faculty of the Department of Family Medicine at UAMS. Since then, he has spent time in South Carolina and recently returned to Fayetteville, when he now serves on the Northwest AHEC faculty of UAMS in Fayetteville.

I believe that this will be a great new addition to the robust menu of services we are able to offer to our clients. Please feel free to log on to eDoc and send Eric a medication question.

Your comments and opinions are always welcome...


Anne said...

Questions that should be asked whenever put on a new medication are "What nutrients does this drug deplete?" and "What supplements should I take to ofset these problems?" Many of the common drugs interfere with the absorption or use of essential vitamins and nutrients. This becomes even more important when placed on a drug long term.

A few examples:
Prilosec depletes B12
Lipitor depletes with CoQ10
Glucophage depletes B12 and Folic acid
Antibiotics wipe out our helpful bacteria

The Univ of MD has more information.

Charles Smith, MD said...

Thank you for that information. We appreciate it!