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Friday, February 12, 2010

Pharmacology

Pharmacies seem to have a new policy of doing medication reviews with patients, and as I use whichever pharmacy is most handy at any given time, I keep using different ones and thus having more and more medication reviews.

Today's was interesting. It turns out that two of my meds cancel out the action of one other, and that that one other cancels out the action of the other two. Interesting! All three prescribed by the same person, incidentally.

Also, the pharmacist made an assumption about my mental health diagnosis on the basis of the meds I'm on. It is a diagnosis I have had in the past, and his guess seems as arbitrary as the numerous guesses I've had from numerous psychiatrists I have seen, so no harm done.

He was impressed that I knew what each of my medications was for. It's worrying, he said, how many people don't. I'm the kind of person who always wants lots and lots of information. I can't imagine swallowing stuff daily without having researched it thoroughly, never mind not knowing what it was even prescribed for.

Someone in my family has been on antidepressants for 21 years, and she still has no idea that that's what they are. She obediently swallows them every night. I haven't had the heart to tell her, but I don't know if I should or not. She knows I looked it up, and she hasn't asked me for details. If she asked, I would definitely tell her, but as she hasn't... I dunno. The doctor tells her that they help her to feel better, and that she would feel much worse without them, so she should keep taking them. She's of a generation to not really challenge doctors.

As for me, I keep taking the pills. I'm reducing the odd one slowly, but I seem stuck on them for the time being at least.

2 comments:

Lisa said...

I don't get it either. My dad knows he takes one pill for cholesterol, one pill for blood pressure, and so on and so on. But he doesn't know which is which. Even that makes my jaw drop. How can people just shove things in their mouths without knowing exactly what it's for?

I've had the odd comments from pharmacists like "erm, you're taking Abc twice a day. It's usually only supposed to be taken once a day."

("Yes, I know. But if I only take it once a day my sinuses swell up and hurt so much I feel like I'm dying.")

Or "Did you know that Abc and Xyz are both antihistamines? It's odd to take 2."

("Well, that's what my allergist prescribed me on the basis of the severity of my problems...")

But usually I just go to the same pharmacy and the pharmacist knows that I know what I'm swallowing.

incurable hippie said...

Yes! I get 'You do know you're on TWO antidepressants?' quite a lot. (Yes of course I do). Mind you, it was only him today that told me that one of them activates dopamine receptors while the other deactivates them, so they might have something worth saying after all ;-) Thankfully, both do more than dopamine stuff so hopefully I'm not just spending the NHS's money cancelling out one pill with two others.

Plus noone can pronounce quetiapine (the other one that deactivates dopamine receptors), which is fine for yer average person, but when a pharmacist is trying to pretend he knows more about taking it than you, but can't say it, it doesn't inspire confidence.