Friday, November 13, 2015

Ask Your Pharmacist!

[Picture Source:]

Have you NEVER taken a medicine in the whole life? For example, Paracetamol, Amoxicillin, Traditional Medicine, Vitamin, or other medicines? I supposed, most of the people have ever taken a medicine. 

Buying medicine is not like buying a candy. There are a lot of kind of candies, for example Milkita, Mintz, Relaxa, and others. If you would like to buy Milkita, then the market is running out of Milkita, you just can directly change your need, by choosing Mintz, or other candies available there. But you can not apply it when you buy a medicine. 

For example, the doctor gives you a prescription and asks to buy antibiotics, which is Erythromycin. In this case, there are a lot of kind of antibiotics, such as Erythromycin, Amoxicillin, Lincomycin, etc. The pharmacy doesn't have Erythromycin, they only have Amoxicillin. Maybe you can say, "It's okay, I'd like to buy Amoxicillin", because you thought, Amoxicillin is also antibiotics, so its okay. But, actually, it's a WRONG!

You never know what will happen when you take Amoxicillin. The doctor may prescribe you to buy Erythromycin, because the doctor knows that you have allergic to Amoxicillin. So when you take Amoxicillin, the allergic reaction will come up. You will feel itchy in the surrounding of the body, you will have a difficulty to breath, or awful condition may occurs. So, it's really important to buy a medicine carefully. Once again, buying medicine is not like buying a candy. 

In this case, you may think, "It should be pharmacist in the pharmacy", so you know, pharmacist will lead you to buy appropriate medicine, pharmacist will correct you if you almost buy inappropriate medicine, pharmacist will teach you how to use or take a medicine. So, you will not mistakenly take or use a medicine, and your health condition will be better. 

However, have you ever realized, when you go to a pharmacy, have you noticed whether there is a pharmacist or not? Who is the person? Is the person a pharmacist or just a cashier? The one who is expert in medicine is a pharmacist, not the cashier. So, when you go to pharmacy, and then there is no pharmacist, no one will help you to choose a better medicine. The cashier will take your money and you get your medicine as you want. In some cases, the cashier can't analyze whether the medicine is appropriate with you or not.

So, Indonesian government set a regulation. The pharmacist should be always in the pharmacy. One pharmacist for one pharmacy. But, the fact is because of small salary and other reasons caused pharmacist to have another jobs. But, when in the future, the pharmacist will be given better salary and better welfare, the pharmacist will be always in the pharmacy. So, for now, it depends on you, the buyer, are you enough educated to buy a medicine or not?

Besides, I'm opening your eyes the real condition when you buy a medicine. I also would like to educate you some information about medicine that you may ignore all this time.

The first question, "Are all the tablets taken by swallowing it?" Absolutely no, because some medicines like antacids (e.g. Promag) is used by chewing it, if you take by swallowing it, Promag will not give its effect to the body effectively.

The second question, "Can I take the medicine together with milk?" Some medicines are okay, but some medicines are not. For example, Ibuprofen is okay, but Tetracycline is no. Because its calcium content inside the milk will absorb Tetracycline, so Tetracycline can not give its effect to the body. 

The third question, "May I store the medicine in the cupboard?" Yes, you may, but for some medicines like Suppositories must be stored in the refrigerator, because in the room temperature, it will be melting. 

The fourth question, "When I had a fever, the doctor prescribed me Amoxicillin. My brother has a fever right now, can I give Amoxicillin to him? No you can't, because different patient, different medicine. The doctor will diagnose your brother, and decide the proper medicine for him. 

The fifth question, "How long should I take the medicine?" In this case, you need to pay attention to paracetamol and antibiotics. Paracetamol is used to reduce your headache, please stop it when you feel better, because the long use of paracetamol will effect your liver function. While about antibiotics, just you have known so far through advertisements, you must finish your antibiotics completely. 

So, I persuade you to be educated buyer or user. When you have already been educated about some information of medicine, please educate others or at least your family, so the medicine can be used effectively. 

Up to this, if you still doubt about how to take your medicine, the key is by reading the instruction in the leaflet carefully, and if you still doubt about it, don't hesitate to ask the pharmacist. Because, I'm as the prospective pharmacist and other pharmacists out there, we'll guide you for the best therapy. 

Ask Your Pharmacist,
Know Your Medicine, 
Save Your Life.

[Picture Source: Facebook Page of IPSF (International Pharmaceutical Students' Federation)]
Posted on by Nurul Fajry Maulida | No comments


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