b*rizzle

Master of Useless Info
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Nov 25, 2004
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Pharmacist
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/29/health/29cons.html

I heard a blip on Good Morning America while getting ready for class this morning, and came across this when doing research for a developmental biology project.

Personally, I've seen patients come to the counter to pick up their script for ibuprofen and drop a box of Aleve right next to the Rx bag. As a member of the health care community, I feel obligated to point out the ingredient duplication, and my pharmacists have encouraged us to do so when we see such a thing.

I know lots of people are pulling out random scripts for naproxen and ibuprofen and the like that they will never use, just to redeem a gift card coupon, but there are people out there who legitimately don't realize they're the same thing.

This is in part why I'm very conservative on the issue of making prescription products OTC. Don't get me wrong, I think that the patient should be pro-active in their health care but I think this is a grisly side-effect of our self-medicating society.

How do you guys feel?
 

Poland

As strong as me
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Nov 17, 2005
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I think the information has been too vague about this. People can not be expected to remember the properties of OTCs that are important unless it is more advertised. Most people would expect OTC to mean safe for regular use. No one intends to take 5,000 mgs a day or to combine products. I don't think all of these medications tell you what exactly it is you are supposed to avoid. An overdose to a person is usually about intent. I think it should have conflicting med brands advertised on it.
 

DHG

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Mar 11, 2005
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I don't think most people are aware of even the simplest things about drugs... Like the fact that prescription Ibuprofen is the exact same thing as the Ibuprofen out on the shelves.

I think better labeling would definately help. I also think brand names should be the same size print on the label as the active ingredient. Therefore "Tylenol" and "Acetaminophen" would have the same visual impact on the label. I could see how it would be easy to take OTC cough medicine, then PMS medicine, then Tylenol....and quickly end up with a huge dose of acetaminophen....

Other than better labeling (which is DEFINATELY needed), pharmacists have a great opportunity to help educate the public about this sort of thing.

Thanks for posting the article, brizzle.
 
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