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Jean in Newcastle

Am I right to be ticked off?

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I got put on a stronger antibiotic today. My Dr. gave me specific warnings to discontinue use if a rare but dangerous side-effect occurred. When I had my consult with the pharmacist, there was a list of side-effects but this dangerous side effect was not mentioned. So I mentioned that the Dr. had warned me about this. (I'm not sure why I really mentioned it - probably to get a general confirmation that this was indeed a side-effect to be aware of). The pharmacist totally blew me off, saying "Don't worry about it." I then questioned him and said, "But my Dr. mentioned this. Are you saying that this is not a side effect of this drug?" He said, "Don't worry about it. It is not a problem with this drug." Perhaps I'm wrong but I tend to trust a pharmacist's word on drugs at least equally with the Dr. and so I started to distrust my Dr's advice, thinking that perhaps he had mistaken this side effect with another drug. But when I got home and read the sheet that came with the drug, this same side effect was mentioned in the sheet!

 

So my reaction was to get angry because I feel like he misled me. I called the pharmacy and talked to the owner. I repeated everything I said above. The owner (also a pharmacist) said that since it was such a rare side effect that it is not part of their regular warnings. But I argued that wasn't the issue - my Dr. had specifically mentioned it and the pharmacist led me to doubt my Dr's word. The owner totally backed up the other pharmacist saying (after he had talked briefly to the pharmacist who had talked to me) that by saying "Don't worry about it. It is not a problem with this drug" he was not contradicting the Dr. but was telling me that the side effect was rare and so I shouldn't be concerned. :confused: Now, I know that no harm was done and that there is a 99% chance that I will not have the side effect, but I'm ticked off enough to consider switching pharmacies. I feel like I've lost my faith in the pharmacist's advice. Am I over-reacting?

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It depends, can you normally trust this pharmacist and is it possible this was just an "off" day for him/her?

 

If not, then switch. I'd be irritated too. As so many like to say in the kid threads, if you are that one percent then the rarity of it happening doesn't really matter. Personally, I find it rather dangerous that he would deny a possible side effect, especially a rare one, as those are the ones that usually lead to death.

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Pharmacists and doctors have very different information about the same drugs. They look at them in different ways. My mom developed Stevens Johnson syndrome and the pharmacist she used had never heard of that drug leading to that. My mom's doctor ( a new doctor in a large city) had heard of it happening to that drug and recognized the signs that my moms PCP didn't even recognize.

 

I say that it just may be that your doctor may have recently dealth with someone who had that reaction tothat drug. Or, instead of your pharmacy being wrong, your doctor may have quoted the wrong facts about the wrong drugs.

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