Safe & Effective Therapy

Keeping you well is what it’s all about.

Patient well-being is the most important guide to our actions.

Our patients often stay with us for life and we believe your welfare is our first and foremost responsibility. This goes beyond the evaluation and filling of the Rx the doctor sends to us. We watch for drug interactions and side effects that could be serious. We also believe we should be looking out for your best interests in regard to drug costs, the overall drug burden and family and personal health. It’s a ‘big picture’ approach we try to take and you’ll hear it in our questions & suggestions about medications but also about diet, exercise habits, sleep habits and other aspects of your life that have an important impact on your health. We like to work together with you to solve the problems that are slowing you down so you keep on doing the things that you love to do.

  • [Click Here] for a series of essays written by our own pharmacists on our Pharmacist’s Perspective page.
  • Do I have the flu? [Click Here] for a chart of symptoms, cautions, treatments and more.
  • [Click Here] for a series of health articles, updated monthly, provided by HealthMart.
  • [Click Here] for our Drug Information page, which has a growing list of resources about health, medications, diseases, and everything related.
  • You will also find that some of the services we offer (Free or Almost Free) can help you maintain your health or help maintain that of others in your family.  Medication Packaging is an example.

Keeping you well.

When I was first hired here, Stan took me aside and made it very clear to me that he was not ready to trust the care of his patients to just anyone and that there would be a significant probationary period.

He wants to see a pharmacist prove that they care about people’s well-being before he gives them a long term position.  And not just care a little, but show a commitment and follow through that will bring real benefit to our patients.  He made it really clear to me that the focus of all our work here is on ensuring the best possible health & welfare for every patient and their family, whether when we’re counseling people on new prescriptions, talking with them about cold medicines or other OTC products, reviewing their copays & costs for medication, or helping with a relative who is in the nursing home.  I found this to be an excellent introduction to Donlon Pharmacy, because there is no other way that I would want to practice pharmacy.  It has turned out to be a good fit and I hope to be working here at Donlon Pharmacy until retirement.  Can’t see where else I could find a place that cares this much about people’s welfare.


Keeping you well.

You can be cynical and think we say that only because it’s good for our business, but this is no shallow marketing talk.  Just stop and think about it longer:   The more we can keep you and your family well, the happier you’ll be, the longer you’ll all live and the more you’ll be able to keep giving to Decorah’s community, including visiting this business.  So our long term business  interests are very much tied up with keeping you and your family healthy.  Patient and customer loyalty are part of what keeps any small, independent business going, rather than the sheer volume of lukewarm bodies that keeps the big box chains going.  So our concern for your welfare is real (or I wouldn’t still be working here) and it is also good for our business.  These things all work together to reinforce the approach that Stan outlined to me when he hired me back in 2008.  Makes it easy for us, really:  we never have to calculate which way to go with any decision: we go with what will be best for our patients and we let the rest of the equation take care of itself.


Lowest Effective Dose.

This is taught to pharmacy students as a guiding principal for all decisions.  We are trained to help the patient and the physician reduce both the number of medications and the dose of each one to the lowest level that still gets the job done.   In some cases a medication may be found to be unnecessary: the lowest effective dose is zero and the patient can stop taking that medication. We would love to see all of our patients reach a stage where they can reduce the list medication they are taking but for many this is not possible but with repeated review sometimes we can find a way to bring down the dose without losing ground on the therapy goals.

Nearly all patients regularly describe themselves as “not the sort who takes pills unless I have to”. This is an excellent perspective to have: your natural inclination is the same as we’re taught in pharmacy school. Prescription medications are the last resort and should be used only when they are clearly needed.  When they are used, stay with the lowest dose the doctor has prescribed.

This does not mean that patients should stop any medications or decrease the dose below what has been prescribed unless they have been given clear guidelines about it from the doctor or pharmacist.


Matthew’s 3 favorite drugs

Some patients have already heard about these.  Best drugs I know, but we don’t stock them at the pharmacy. They apply very directly to the section above about Lowest Effective Dose and I guarantee they can increase your quality of life, no matter who you are.  And did I mention?  They’re available for free.

In fact, I think I won’t say more here.  I’ll build a post for the Pharmacist’s Perspective page and put it there.  Someday.