Saturday, January 31, 2015


Two prescriptions are dropped off for a brother and sister. Sister gets Z-pack and Tamiflu. <My eyes roll> Brother gets Tamiflu. We fill the prescriptions and have them ready to pick up.

Mom steps up to the window. She asks, "Can I get a flu shot too?"

I reply, "Well, yes, you can get a flu shot, but if you've been exposed to the flu, it's not going to help."

A funny look crosses her face. "What do you mean?"

"Your kids are getting Tamiflu," I respond. If your kids have the flu, more than likely you've been exposed to the flu too.

"Oh, they did a culture. It's not the flu."

Now a funny look crosses my face, "Why are they prescribing Tamiflu, then?"

"Good question," she says. Mom looks worried and steps out of line to call the doctor. She comes back one hour later and still wants the medications for brother and sister. I ask why and I'm told it is "precautionary." I then proceed to counsel the mom on the medication and learn that its been several days since the first symptoms and that the doctor is aware of that.

"Tamiflu should be started within two days of the initial symptoms of flu," I tell her. "You said it has been several days since the first symptoms."

Mom steps back out of line to call the doctor. Another hour passes. She returns and tells me she's still going to get the medications. The co-pay is $125 per kid. She just wasted $250.

And she still wanted a flu shot.


Anonymous said...

The Z-Pack was probably precautionary, too.

Anonymous said...

And we wonder why resistance is building.

Anonymous said...

you should totally report dr to board of medicine for being an idiot. Isnt that reason enough??

Anonymous said...

I was out of state and became terribly sick, a fever of 103.5 and I couldn't breathe. I have asthma and I had just dropped my dogs off with a friend who was coughing a day ago. I go to urgent care, they won't treat my asthma because "I'm not wheezing" (assholes) give me antibiotics and tamiflu after a negative flu test. The doctor was convinced I had the flu anyway.

I picked it up because my husband was worried but I never took it, just antibiotics for what ended up in bronchitis and pneumonia.

I really don't understand this type of defensive medicine.

Anonymous said...

Sensitivity of the rapid test is only 60-70%. But they're out of the window for treatment, that's harder to excuse. And the zpack, like most zpacks, seems to have no rationale at all.

It's really hard to see sick people and not do anything, especially with increasing pressure to see more people, faster. That's where knowing your symptom control medicines and semi placebos helps.