Ask a Pharmacist

Pharmacy Chat
Get answers to your most common health questions here.


Find Frequently Asked Questions in alphabetical order by category.


Prevention: How can I prevent acne?

Acne Products: What acne products are recommended for teenagers?

Acne: What is acne?

Claravis: What is Claravis and what does it do?


Drowsiness: Are there any over-the-counter allergy medications that do not cause drowsiness?

Claritin and Allegra Differences: How do Claritin-D and Claritin, and Allegra-D and Allegra differ from each other?

Aspirin: If I'm allergic to aspirin, what over-the-counter pain medication can I use?

Penicillin: If I am allergic to penicillin, can I take clindamycin 150 mg?

Stomach Aches: I recently started a new medication and have had a stomach ache ever since. Am I allergic to the drug?

Phenylephrine: What's the difference between phenylephrine and pseudoephedrine? Do they work the same?

OTC Treatment: What can I take for allergies causing sneezing, runny nose and itchy, watery eyes?


Storage: I left my son's liquid antibiotic sitting on the kitchen counter all day instead of putting it back in the refrigerator. Is the medicine still OK?

Diarrhea: Is diarrhea a normal side effect of antibiotics and is there any way to treat it?

Antibiotics and Alcohol: Is it OK to drink alcohol when you are taking an antibiotic?

Stopping Antibiotics: Is it OK to stop taking my antibiotic after a few days when I feel better?

Reusing Antibiotics: Is it OK to take leftover antibiotics to treat a current infection?

Refrigeration: Should liquid antibiotics always be stored in the refrigerator?

Cipro: What is Cipro?

Photosensitivity: Why do I have to stay out of the sun if I take sulfa antibiotics?


"Benzo" Withdrawal: What drugs are considered benzo's and what kind of withdrawal symptoms can they cause?

Anxiety: What is an anxiety disorder?

Buspar: What is Buspar?

Kava Kava: What is kava kava?


Rheumatoid Arthritis Prescriptions: How is rheumatoid arthritis treated by prescription?

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatments: What alternative therapies are there for rheumatoid arthritis?

Mobic: What are the side effects of Mobic?

Remicade: What are the side effects of Remicade?

Synvisc: What are the side effects of Synvisc?

Celebrex: What is Celebrex?

Enbrel: What is Enbrel?

Osteoarthritis: What is osteoarthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis: What is rheumatoid arthritis?

Osteoarthritis Treatments: What types of treatments are available for osteoarthritis?


Old Inhalers: Can you explain to me why my old albuterol inhaler is being removed from the market?

Asthma Inhalers: I get a funny taste in my mouth after using my asthma inhaler. Is it OK to drink water right after?

New Inhalers: My inhaler's puff of medication isn't as strong, and it tastes different. Should I be concerned?

Asthma Medications: What's the difference between the different kinds of asthma medications?

Asthma: What is asthma?

As-needed Asthma Medications: Why do some people use asthma medications on an as-needed basis while others use medications daily?

Birth Control

Yeast Infections: Can birth control pills cause yeast infections?

Antibiotic Interactions: Do antibiotics reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills?

Emergency contraceptive prescription: Do I need a prescription to get an emergency contraceptive?

Emergency contraceptive dosing: How do you take Plan B One-Step or Next Choice?

Condom effectiveness: How effective are condoms at preventing STDs and pregnancy?

Conception: How long does it take to get pregnant after stopping Depo-Provera shots or birth control pills?

Emergency Contraceptives: Is an emergency contraceptive (such as Plan B One-Step or Next Choice) the same thing as the RU-486 pill, the so-called abortion pill?

Breastfeeding: Is it safe to take birth control pills while breastfeeding?

Plan B ingredients: What's the difference between emergency contraceptives, such as Plan B One-Step and regular birth control pills?

Emergency contraceptives side effects: What are the side effects of emergency contraceptives?

Contraceptive Sponge: What is a contraceptive sponge?

Missed pills: What should I do if I missed a tablet of my birth control pills?

Starting Birth Control: When should I start birth control?

Birth Control while Nursing: Which birth control pills are safe for nursing mothers?

Blood Disorders

Treating Porphyria: What is Hemin?


Colonoscopy: Should I get a colonoscopy and how often do I need one?

Gleevec: What are the side effects of Gleevec?

Tamoxifen: What are the side effects of tamoxifen?

Mutamycin: What is Mutamycin (mitomycin)?

Childrens Health

OTC Head Lice Treatments: Are there any over-the-counter treatments for head lice?

Head Lice Prescriptions: Are there any prescription treatments for head lice?

Head Lice Prevention: Is there anything I can do to prevent my child from getting it?

Infant Diarrhea: My 6-month-old baby has had diarrhea all morning. I can't get an appointment with my pediatrician until much later this afternoon. What can I do in the meantime?

Fever: My doctor told me to alternate using ibuprofen and acetaminophen to treat my child's fever. Why?

Cold Products: Please explain the FDA regulations about cold products for children.

Head Lice: What are head lice?

Diaper Rash: What can I do to treat diaper rashes for my baby, and what can I do to prevent diaper rashes in the future?

DHA and ARA: What is DHA and ARA and why are they in infant formulas?

Ear Infections: Why are ear infections more common for children?


"Statins" Interactions: Are there any drug interactions with "statins" (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors)?

Drug Types: What's the difference between cholesterol drugs like fibric acids and statins?

Welchol: What are the side effects of Welchol?

Cholesterol Treatments: What are treatments for high cholesterol?

Niacin side effects: What are Vitamin B3 or niacin's side effects?

HMG-CoA: What is an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors?

Cholestin: What is Cholestin?

Cholesterol: What is high cholesterol?

Red Yeast Rice: What is red yeast rice?

Cold and Flu

Jitteriness: Are there any over-the-counter cold or allergy products that do not make you feel jittery?

Swine Flu and Pork: Can the H1N1 (swine flu) be acquired from eating pork products?

Cold Medication: Can you take cold medication if you have high blood pressure?

Zinc: Does taking zinc really cure the common cold?

Bird Flu: How are people treated for bird flu? Is a vaccine available to prevent a person from catching it?

Analgesics: How can analgesics relieve cold and flu symptoms?

Antitussives: How can antitussives relieve cold and flu symptoms?

Decongestants: How can decongestants relieve cold and flu symptoms?

Egg Allergy: How can I avoid getting the flu if I'm allergic to eggs and can't get a flu shot?

Symptoms: How can I tell if I have the flu or a cold?

Nasal Congestion: How can I treat nasal congestion without medication?

Swine Flu Treatments: How is the H1N1 (swine flu) treated?

Flu Vaccine: How long does it take for the flu vaccine to work?

Starve a fever?: Is it true that you should follow the old saying, "Starve a fever, feed a cold"?

Relenza: What are the side effects of Relenza?

Tamiflu: What are the side effects of Tamiflu?

Cold Medications: What can I take to treat a runny, stuffy nose and sinus drainage?

Zicam: What happened to Zicam?

Avian Flu: What is the Avian Flu?

Contagious: When is a cold or the flu contagious?

Compliance and Safety

Reimportation: Are prescription drugs purchased in Mexico as safe and effective as medications in the United States?

Swallowing Pills: Can compounding help with trouble swallowing pills? Can any medication be made into a liquid or patch formula?

Medication Management: How can I keep track of all my medications?

Directions: How do I get the most benefit from my medication?

Caregiving: How do I keep track of medications safely when there's more than one caregiver?

Medication Disposal: How should I dispose of old or unused medication?

Presurgery: If I can't eat or drink the night before my medical procedure, what should I do for my daily medication?

Halving Pills and Tablets: Is it always OK to break pills or tablets in half?

Crushing Medications: Is it OK to grind up pills and put them in food to make them easier to swallow?

Measuring Spoons: Is it ok to use a household teaspoon to measure my child's medication?

Sharing Prescriptions: Is it OK to use another person's medication if I have the same health condition?

Take with Food: What does it mean when a medication says "Take with food"?

Black Box Warnings: What is a black box warning on a prescription drug?

Adverse Drug Events: What is an adverse drug event?

Sharps Containers: What is the proper way to safely dispose of sharps such as lancets and needles?

Recalls: Why are there drug recalls?

Pseudoephedrine: Why do I have to purchase pseudoephedrine from the pharmacy and sign for it?


Stimulant Laxatives (Oral): What are oral stimulant laxatives?

Stimulant Laxatives (Rectal): What are rectal stimulant laxatives?

Contact Lenses

Solutions: Are contact lens solutions regulated for safety or purity?

Disposable Contacts: Are disposable contact lenses better than regular contact lenses?

Swimming: Can I wear my contact lenses when I go swimming?

Drug Interactions: Can some medications cause problems with my contact lenses?

Preventing Infections: How can I prevent fungal infections from wearing contact lenses?

Fungal Infection: How do I know if my contact lenses have caused a fungal infection in my eyes?

Schedule: How long can I leave my contact lenses in?

Disinfection: How often do I need to disinfect my contact lenses?

Replacement: How often should I change my contact lenses?

Pregnancy: Is it common to have problems wearing contact lenses when you are pregnant? Why is that?

Sleeping: Is it OK to wear my contact lenses while I am sleeping?

If you're looking for more specific answers to specific questions, ask a Walgreens pharmacist here.

Answers to questions regarding information about medications or health conditions are not for diagnostic or treatment purposes and are not conclusive as to the presence or absence of any health condition. Consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment of your medical condition. The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of the scientific literature may vary. Walgreens' terms of use and general warranty disclaimer apply to all services provided. If you are in need of immediate medical attention, contact your physician, poison control center or emergency medical professional. If you need to speak with a pharmacist for non-emergency matters, contact your local Walgreens pharmacist or call a pharmacist toll-free at 1 (877) 250-5823.