Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Medications YOU should have at Home

Are you ready? When is the last time you went through you medicine cabinet to be sure you are properly prepared? I am a registered pharmacist and have, over years of experience, a pretty good idea of the medicines you should have in your home. No list is perfect. But the following discussion will provide you a well-rounded shopping list for the medicine cabinet for most families.

Here is the original LINK

Thanks for Tweeting this, HONEST APOTHECARY!


  1. Ibuprofen gel caps (e.g. Advil, Motrin)
  2. Acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) tablets, a liquid for children
  3. Excedrin tablets
  4. Triple Antibiotic Ointment (e.g. Neosporin)
  5. Hydrogen Peroxide
  6. Extra Strength Tums, Rolaids, or Maalox tablets
  7. Diphenhydramine (e.g. Benadryl) capsules
  8. Pseudoephedrine tablets (e.g. Sudafed)
  9. Dextromethorphan syrup for cough (e.g. Robitussin DM)
  10. Cough Drops (take your pick, I like "Halls" brand)
  1. Bandaids (a good assortment)
  2. Ace Bandage (standard 2 inch width is good)
  3. Tweezers
  4. Heating Pad
  5. Ice Bag or reusuable freezer ice pack
  6. Tissues - like Puff's Plus with Lotion

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Angry Drug Rep

Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring...  (it's a busy Wednesday morning)

"Goofmart Pharmacy, this is Crazy RxMan, how may I help you?"

"Hello, this is Stacey with Pfeva Pharmaceuticals. I'm calling to tell you about a new medication, NoMoreWartz which is available now for ordering... This medication has the following indications..."

I cut her off, "I'm sorry, but you'll have to call back. I have three patients waiting for prescriptions and I don't have time to listen right now..."

She cuts me off, "This is the THIRD time I've called back. I called on MONDAY and TUESDAY but YOU said you were TOO BUSY to talk to me.

Ms. Fancy Pants Drug Rep is referring to Mickey my pharmacy partner as I was off on Monday and Tuesday. He was likely busy too and asked her to call back.

"So WHEN can I call back to talk to you about this NEW MEDICATION?!" She has the attitude like it's absolutely not optional for me at this point.

"I work this weekend. Saturday or Sunday would be fine."

"I don't work weekends. Did you know that this medication is..."

<click> I hang up. 

My heavens, what is going on with drug reps these days? If they're not calling you on Monday mornings, they're showing up with a pile of coupons.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Free Blood Pressure Monitoring

"Where is YOUR blood pressure machine?"

I wish I could capture the feeling in the blog. She's mad, agitated, pissed off, angry, gnarled, sweaty-toothed, hell.. I don't know just how to describe her. She's "flippin' mad." On top of that, she looked like a woman that even if she swallowed a kilo of magnets she still wouldn't be attractive.

"Corporate is remodeling parts of the store and it has been removed temporarily until they can get a new source of power." I point with my finger, "It will be in its new location over there sometime next week."

"HOWWWWWW am I supposed to take my blood pressure, then?"

Goofmart pharmacy has spent a great deal of money on some fancy blood pressure machines which talk to people and guide them through the process of taking their blood pressure. It even gets their name and email address and will email you your blood pressure every time you get it taken. I'm sure it gets emailed to the NSA too, but then again, I'm sure they're reading this blog too. Hi, NSA!

So I tell the lady the machine will be back next week. That seems like a reasonable response. Apparently it wasn't.

"This is ENTIRELY disrespectful! I need that machine to keep track of my blood pressure! And YOU PEOPLE just took it away! What am I going to do now? Do you WANT me to die?"

I have no way of knowing for sure because she doesn't get her prescriptions at my pharmacy, but I'll put a fifty on her being on Medicaid.

I said, "Well, we have some home units starting about $30... with a few batteries you can test your blood pressure in the privacy of your own home and not have to come down to Goofmart."

"That's HORRIBLE! That's why you took it away?! To sell blood pressure units! That's just HORRIBLE!"

The lady storms off. Whatever her blood pressure was before she came in to Goofmart, I'm sure it's a lot higher now. I see a free gift card in her future if she'll mention this to a Sub Commander.

And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen... this is how the world works now. Everything is supposed to be free. Heck, someday we won't even have to pay for groceries. We'll just march on down to the grocery store and fill out carts and leave. It's the future Utopia!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Awkward Flight

The video of a sleeping airline passenger incident you've all feared could happen to you...


Friday, July 26, 2013

Warning Signs of Alzheimer's Disease

Rather than diagnose Alzheimer's disease at home, head to your doctor's office. You can also find more information at, or by calling the Alzheimer's Association's 24-hour hotline at (800) 272-3900.

The importance of early detection and early intervention can't be stressed strongly enough. It could mean added years of lucidity and life for you or someone you love.

10 warning signs of Alzheimer's Disease, put together by the Alzheimer's Association:

1. Memory changes that disrupt daily life
2. Challenges in planning or solving problems
3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work, or at leisure
4. Confusion with time or place
5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
6. New problems with words in speaking or writing
7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
8. Decreased or poor judgment
9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
10. Changes in mood and personality


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pre-natal Gummy Vitamins -- BEWARE!

Pregnancy is one condition for which the benefit of vitamin supplements including folic acid, iron and calcium, is well established. In fact, two large studies have recently confirmed that pregnant women who take iron are less likely to have babies with low birth weight. That’s why it’s notable and worrisome that retailers are selling a gummy vitamin labeled “Prenatal” that provides significantly fewer nutrients than normal prenatal vitamins.

The gummies attract women who have trouble taking the conventional supplements. “I had the worst time gagging every time I had to take the pills. They are just so huge,” said Sandra Young*. “I found the gummy ones and think they are amazing.” Young, who is in her second trimester, did not know that her gummies lacked iron.

Dr. Barbara T. Felt, a pediatrician at the University of Michigan, says women should consult their physician before using gummy vitamins, noting that the traditional prenatal vitamins were “formulated with the best evidence we have about the needs of the mother and fetus during pregnancy and after delivery.” Pregnant women might also want to note the following facts about some available prenatal gummy products:

The Vitafusion prenatal gummies now available on the shelves of every major drug store, as well as the generic copies sold by CVS and Target, do not contain calcium, thiamin, riboflavin, or iron – ingredients you’ll find in other prenatal vitamins.  (Vitafusion has a separate gummy product called “Fiber+Calcium,” which is marketed as a companion supplement providing “Prenatal Support.”)


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Old Switcheroo Trick

A patient comes to the register and asks to pick up his medication. I look in the will-call and there's nothing there for him. He says the computer called him, but then reluctantly admits that it was sometime last week. I tell him that we return things to stock after nine days (but didn't mention how my pharmacy manager pumps up his numbers a little by reprocessing prescriptions at nine days when no one is looking. Yeah MICKEY, I know what you're doing!). 

So I look at his profile and tell him it was probably his Lipofen. He says maybe it was his generic Flomax. I tell him the dates don't work that way and that I'll fill his Lipofen for him. So I do it in 3.5 minutes, he pays $25, and he's out the door.

Me, being the lazy crazy pharmacist that I am, I leave the empty bottle of Lipofen on the counter. I'm alone at the pharmacy today and throwing it in the trash would have meant me taking an extra step, so what the heck, it can wait until later.

A little while later Mr. Lipofen appears at the window with the bag, the receipt hanging out, and a labeled bottle of Avodart. He wants to know why I filled his AVODART when he needed LIPOFEN and he wants a REFUND of the $60 co-pay. Somehow Mr. Lipofen thinks that I'm going to fall for this voodoo and give him a $60 refund. 

"Uh, no... I filled your Lipofen." I show him the empty bottle of Lipofen on the counter. It was $25. At first he tries to argue with me, but then looks at the receipt and realizes it says $25. The only thing I can surmise is that he thought he would somehow fool me into giving him a $60 refund when he paid $25 before.

Nice try, but the old RxMan couldn't be fooled today. Being lazy paid off.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Crazy Password Protection

When I open the pharmacy, I log into three computers and a cash register.

To put the cash drawer in the register, I need to enter my employee ID and password.

Then I need to log in to three different computers. First I put in the staff pharmacist ID and password. Once the computers boot up, I need to load the software to process prescriptions. I need to enter a common user ID and password for each processing window. For all three computers, I do that ten times. Once each processing window is up, I have to log in again with my own user name and password, THEN enter my initials, and enter yet another password. Then on the computer by the register I load yet another program to "sell" prescriptions and take them out of workflow. That's another ID and password. Then I need to load an additional program to see pseudofed products. I don't actually log in at that time because it will time out and I'd have to do it again later. BUT I put the ID and password in the boxes so that I can just click GO when the time comes. Then I have to log in to the pharmacy "portal" (another user ID and password) to check for tasks to do (recalls, etc). Then I have to log in to the company's email to check email. 

How many different times have I put in a user name and password? I don't know, I lost count. But this isn't all. There are other places which require user IDs and passwords. And the best part, every few months we have to change them all. Bear in mind that I'm in the pharmacy where the door is always locked. No one is allowed in the pharmacy except pharmacy personnel. Despite this, we still have to enter all these user IDs and passwords all day long. Apparently the company takes all this privacy very seriously.

Except today.

Today the "home office" called. What was her name? Christy? Carly? I don't remember. It was MONDAY MORNING and I'm FRICKING BUSY.

Whatever her name was says to me, "I'm calling from the corporate office. I need your user ID and password."

"Excuse me," I said.

"Yes, didn't you read the email? We're working on [something that corporate thinks is really important but in the grand scheme of things doesn't Gather Food for Vaal]. I need your ID and password to log in."

"Seriously? You want me to give you my user name and password?" Keep in mind that we do not have have Caller ID and for all I know this is a hacker in China trying to get into our system.

"Well you can email it to me. Didn't you read the email?" Now I'm not kidding you, we literally get about 50 emails a day about everything from how items should be placed on shelves to emails about mandatory videos we have to watch about KEEPING COMPANY PASSWORDS PRIVATE.

"Ok, I'll email it to you."

Ten minutes pass. The RPM calls. She wants to know the user ID and password. At this point I'm defeated. I have to give in. The god of the company has called, but apparently god doesn't know everything because she doesn't know my ID and password. So much for deity. To add to the fun, the RPM tells me that I need to give out my password when corporate calls asking for it. All these years I've been told to keep the IDs and passwords secure and now I'm just supposed to hand them over anytime someone asks?

Now we have a paradox. The passwords which I have been sworn to secrecy with blood oaths and threats of termination are apparently ok to just hand out anytime someone claiming they're from corporate asks for them. This is why HAL 9000 killed the astronauts, you know. He went nuts because of conflicting orders and crap like this is why I'm going to go crazy... more crazy than I already am. Many more conflicting orders from corporate and, well... "Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do... I'm half CRAZY... over the love of you..."

Monday, July 22, 2013

Doctors are Trying to Kill Pharmacists

The following prescriptions indicate that doctors
are really trying to kill pharmacists,
their patients, or both:

I really want to know WHO this Ed guy is
and what he has to do with it:

Ammediately? Maybe you meant immediately?
Or is this a strange new accent?

Now that's a lot of insulin:

Here's a doc that's living in the past... ten years ago:

That's a LOT of Methadone,
especially for a 70 year old grandma:

This one was easy to fill:

Now that's gotta hurt:

Ambien... once prescribed for sleep,
now prescribed for pain:


Every 6 hours and 1 minute?
That seems extremely specific:

This would be ok if the patient weighed 612 lbs,
but otherwise this is big, big trouble:

Fortunately we know this doc. If we were relying on
the DEA number... yeah, good luck with that:

If the patient feels impaired,
the pharmacist is not allowed to drive: