Clinical Pharmacists and Cancer Care

What is a clinical pharmacist?

A clinical pharmacist is a pharmacist that specialized in a specific field of medicine.  They are considered an expert.  They can specialize in any area of medicine, including taking care of patients with heart disease, diabetes, infections and cancer.  

How can a clinical pharmacist help me?

A clinical pharmacist is very important in the care of cancer patients.  They work side-by-side with the doctors and nurses to make sure that your treatment is done in a safe way.  Clinical pharmacists in cancer care are experts in medicines, especially chemotherapy and the medicines used to treat side effects of chemotherapy.  They can work with you in the clinic and in the hospital when you are receiving cancer care.  

It is the clinical pharmacist’s job to help make sure that you are taking your medicine in the best way possible to treat your cancer and have few side effects.  If you are ever unsure or have questions about your medicines, a pharmacist can be a big help.    

What kinds of questions can I ask my clinical pharmacist?

  • How do I take my medicine?
  • What side effects can I expect?
  • How can I manage my side effects?
  • What do I do if I have trouble swallowing my medicine?
  • What do I do if I miss a dose?
  • Is it safe to take this medicine with my other medicines?
  • Can I take any herbs, vitamins or supplements with my medicine?
  • How should I store my medicine?
  • How will my cancer medicines affect the other medicines I am taking?
  • How do I dispose of unwanted medicine?

If you are having any serious side effects from your treatment, make sure to follow up with your doctor at the number at the bottom of this page.

To learn more about the different things a clinical pharmacist can do for cancer patients, please see the article below.