Nope, not the fast-food kind. Drive-through pharmacies are convenient, but if you hit one every time you get an Rx filled, you lose the opportunity to talk to a pharmacist about side effects, generic options, and what to do if you miss a dose. Plus you may be at a higher risk for a mix-up: The distractions associated with window service contribute to about six errors per every 10,000 prescriptions dispensed annually, according to a recent study. That works out to more than two million medication mistakes a year. "Always check your prescription at the pharmacy, especially if you're using a drive-through," says lead study author Sheryl Szeinbach, PhD, a professor at Ohio State University College of Pharmacy. Verify the medication name, dosage, and description -- for instance, "blue-and-white oblong capsules" -- as well as your name and address. Short on time? Use this rule of thumb from Szeinbach: "If you have questions about interactions, side effects, dosing, or insurance, or it's a new prescription, skip the drive-through."
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