Sunday, May 25, 2014

A PHARMACIST is not your mama! Read everything. Check. Really.

My pills (and lotions and potions) are one area where I try to be organized.  Every weekend I fill my ultra deluxe pill organizer.  Blue lids on one row of compartments mean pills I take at supper time or bedtime.  Yellow lids mean take those pills in the morning.  (One of them way too long before breakfast.)

The drawer with pills in reserve seemed to have too many pill bottles.  I remember that last weekend the pharmacy department filled a couple of other prescriptions to save me a trip later.  (They reminded me that they had called about them.  I often ignore calls from them--they just call too many times.)

Still, I was lining up these bottles and an alarm kept going off in my head.  Something is not right!  Finally, finally found the problem.  The levothyroxine label was on a bottle that the manufacturer, luckily for me, had pre-marked Omeprazole.  And the Omeprazole label was on the bottle that obviously contained levothyroxine--I've taken it so long I can almost identify it in the dark.  

Everybody makes mistakes.  I make them.  Doctors make them.  Hospitals make them.  And pharmacies make them.  

Who wants to go over to the chairs, open the bags, deal with all the paper and staples?  I'm often in a hurry.  I don't see the actual bottle until I get home, and I'll bet you don't either.

This label mistake wasted my time, but was not huge problem.  No emergencies were caused.  But I had unpleasant medication problems two years ago in a hospital.    They left me with an ultra-sensitive mental alarm.  Shouldn't you have one, too.? 

I think I need to show these bottles to the pharmacy.  Without anger.  

And I need to read every leaflet with every new Rx and refill.  Starting with the description of the pill.  Did I read the description of the Tamoxifen pill before I took it?  I don't even remember.

And by the way, I'm training myself to read the rest of the leaflet, too.  I do know that the druggist and/or the manufacturer will mention new cautions for the medicine on the leaflet, not always on the label.  

I wish you health.

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