Health care - Treatment and medication - Pharmacological options

Frequently asked questions

Can I buy medications over the counter? Click for answer

Medications specifically meant to treat dementia and associated symptoms (e.g., cholinesterase inhibitor, memantine hydrochloride) are only available through a prescription from your doctor.

Are these dementia medications covered by my health plan? Click for answer

Some provinces may cover medications for dementia and associated symptoms. Your pharmacist should be able to tell you which medications are covered, and which are not. If you do not live in Canada, check with your doctor regarding treatment coverage options. 

What should I ask my pharmacist? Click for answer

Being diagnosed with dementia will likely mean you will be prescribed medication to help with the symptoms of the illness. It is important to understand how to use the medication properly. Here is a list of questions you may want to ask your pharmacist:

  1. Why am I taking this medication?
  2. How will I know if this medication is working?
  3. How will I remember to take my medication?
  4. Are there any side effects? Will it make me sleepy?
  5. Will this medication interact with other medications I am taking or with my other medical conditions?
  6. Can I still take painkillers and other over the counter medications? Which over the counter medications should I avoid taking?
  7. Will it affect my herbal and vitamin supplements? Should I still take my current herbal and vitamin supplements?
  8. How and when should I take the medication?
  9. Will I need to take this medication for the rest of my life?
  10. Is "four times a day" the same as "every six hours"?
  11. Do I have to wake up during the night to take my medication?
  12. Am I supposed to take this medication with food or water?
  13. Is there anything I should or should not eat or drink while I am taking this medication? 
  14. What should I do if I miss a dose? What if I take two doses too close together?
  15. I have drug allergies, is it safe for me to take this medication?
  16. Can I drink alcohol on this medication?
  17. When will I feel better?
  18. When should I see my doctor?
  19. Can I get my medication in a container that is easier to open?
  20. Where should I keep this medication?
  21. Should I take my medication in the morning or evening?

Source: This information above was reprinted, including additions and revisions with permission from College of Pharmacists of British Columbia. (n.d). What to ask your pharmacist or pharmacy technician