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Really A Pharmacist?


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43 replies to this topic

#1 Cujy

 
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Posted 05 April 2012 - 05:55 PM

Well I went to the pharmacy to pick up the script for my prednisone and pain killers (for the killer kidneys that the docs dont care about) and I said to the pharmacist, so are these pills gluten free?? He says, "what?" After three or four times of doing charades with speaking crazy slow, he says, "Uhh...dunno, Id have to look it up". I said, "well can you?" and he says "I could but I don't think it will say". He says then, "Are you anaphalactic to gluten?" I said no its an intolerance but very painful" He shrugs and says, then blahh don't worry about it, and walks away.
Whats up with our healthcare professionals? Is it only here in Ontario????? :blink:
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#2 psawyer

 
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Posted 05 April 2012 - 06:24 PM

Another voice from Ontario here.

Based on my experience over almost twelve years, gluten is vary rarely--if ever--found in a prescription drug in Ontario. That probably applies across Canada. The starch in most tablets is corn. It is more stable than wheat, and doesn't cost more.

The pharmacists that I have dealt with during that time have all understood the issue. I don't doubt that there are some out there who are ignorant, but your experience is not typical based on my own.

I have a cousin who is an MD. He told me that in his time in medical school, celiac was mentioned once (as "gluten-sensitive enteropathy"), and less than half a day was spent on it. His specialty is infectious diseases, so there would be no reason to encounter it once he entered residency in that field.

I don't expect pharmacy school spends much time on it either. :(
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Peter
Diagnosis by biopsy of practically non-existent villi; gluten-free since July 2000.
Type 1 (autoimmune) diabetes diagnosed in March 1986
Markham, Ontario (borders on Toronto)

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#3 Takala

 
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Posted 05 April 2012 - 07:30 PM

In the United States, you need to tell the pharmacist that you have an allergy to wheat, rye, and barley proteins and they must put this info in their computers and check for it. In my state, the pharmacists are supposed to offer a consult, by law, to the customer if the customer needs it when filling a script, where they are supposed to ask you if you have any allergies. Which I do. Forget about saying you have an auto immune reaction, that's above their pay scale. :blink: If pharmacists and techs are supposed to be "very concerned" about my other allergies, which could be life threatening or give me an asthma attack then they can spend 30 seconds looking at a label for wheat starch that could continue to damage my brain. Good God. :ph34r:

They used to be pretty good about this, until the latest cost cutting phase, then I have run into one who was very, very, not good about this, she was unprofessional and just told me, without looking at the box, "I don't think so." I said "don't think so" was not good enough, and we needed to consult with the manufacturer since the ingredients, incredibly, were NOT ON THE PACKAGE the script came in, so after making me wait, they finally, only at my insistence, gave me a contact number and told me to call them myself, and kicked me to the back of the line. So I called, on my cell phone, and got the automated number which said only open 8 am to 4pm CDT, out of my time zone, so they were closed, then I called the distributor, and finally got someone who was more interested, and he at least had the ingredients list once I got the CODE NUMBER for this item back from the clerk, who was doing her best to ignore me. Literally would not come to the counter. So I called him back and gave him the store number (they wanted the address, of course, of where I was standing, being ignored by the store employees). We think we are okay, but I want to check these ingredients to be sure. I do not have one of these phones that passes for a mini computer. I need to go home to do this.

After all this, I thought, I'm not giving these rude ****s any of my money, and walked out, and caught the useless clerk slinking on her way out of the store - must have been her quitting time. And I had an infection, and I needed this antibiotic. Grrrrrrrrrrr.

Went to another branch the next day, where I have filled other scripts before, where they are much better, they ask me about my allergies, I tell them I have researched this so if the code number matches, we are okay. I also told them I was not happy about the customer service at "branch x." :angry:

Most fillers are corn starch in the North Americas, the problem is most drug ingredients that are fillers are imported, and there can be a problem with purity. Also, ingredients change all the time and batches and runs may use different sources. And some medications do use a bit of gluten in the coatings - you need to check what your item actually has in it.
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#4 Skylark

 
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Posted 05 April 2012 - 09:46 PM

I think I would have lied and said I was anaphylactic, just to get him to take it seriously. :lol: Am I bad?
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#5 mushroom

 
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Posted 06 April 2012 - 02:24 AM

If you fill your prescription at Walmart you will find a lot of the drugs are imported from Mumbai, which complicates the detective work :rolleyes:
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Neroli


"Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted." - Albert Einstein

"Life is not weathering the storm; it is learning to dance in the rain"

"Whatever the question, the answer is always chocolate." Nigella Lawson

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Caffeine free 1973
Lactose free 1990
(Mis)diagnosed IBS, fibromyalgia '80's and '90's
Diagnosed psoriatic arthritis 2004
Self-diagnosed gluten intolerant, gluten-free Nov. 2007
Soy free March 2008
Nightshade free Feb 2009
Citric acid free June 2009
Potato starch free July 2009
(Totally) corn free Nov. 2009
Legume free March 2010
Now tolerant of lactose

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#6 Cujy

 
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Posted 06 April 2012 - 03:08 AM

Oh my god it was Walmart! Fabulous! I have to say that the other two pharmacists there, TRY to be helpful and the last one I asked said I dunno call the manufacturer, she also had no interest in calling for me.
I took my pred last night, but was in mucho pain anyways from my kidneys, so it could have been just that.
Well back to bed for some much needed rest, have to rest up for my tutoring of the ignorant around me..... :blink:
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#7 ravenwoodglass

 
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Posted 06 April 2012 - 03:32 AM

I think I would have lied and said I was anaphylactic, just to get him to take it seriously. :lol: Am I bad?


Not at all. That is exactly what I do. I don't say I need gluten free meds. After all wheat starch is considered gluten free by processing. I say I have a wheat allergy. Rye and barley are not an issue in script meds (although they can be found in 'gluten-free' supplements).
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Courage does not always roar, sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying
"I will try again tommorrow" (Mary Anne Radmacher)


celiac 49 years - Misdiagnosed for 45
Blood tested and repeatedly negative
Diagnosed by Allergist with elimination diet and diagnosis confirmed by GI in 2002
Misdiagnoses for 15 years were IBS-D, ataxia, migraines, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, parathesias, arthritis, livedo reticularis, hairloss, premature menopause, osteoporosis, kidney damage, diverticulosis, prediabetes and ulcers, dermatitis herpeformis
All bold resoved or went into remission with proper diagnosis of Celiac November 2002
Some residual nerve damage remains as of 2006- this has continued to resolve after eliminating soy in 2007

Mother died of celiac related cancer at 56
Twin brother died as a result of autoimmune liver destruction at age 15

Children 2 with Ulcers, GERD, Depression, , 1 with DH, 1 with severe growth stunting (male adult 5 feet)both finally diagnosed Celiac through blood testing and 1 with endo 6 months after Mom


Positive to Soy and Casien also Aug 2007

Gluten Sensitivity Gene Test Aug 2007
HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0303

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0303

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 3,3 (Subtype 9,9)

#8 nora_n

 
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Posted 06 April 2012 - 07:04 AM

I have heard some got sick from caugh syrup, but rarely ordinary pills.
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gluten-free since may 06 after neg. biopsy symptoms went away and DH symptoms which I had since 03 got gradually better.
daughter officially diagnosed celiac and casein intolerant.
non-DQ2 or DQ8. Maybe DQ1? Updated: Yes, double DQ5
Hypothyroid since 2000, thyroxine first started to work well 06 on a low-carb and gluten-free diet
Lost 20 kg after going gluten-free and weighing 53 kg now. neg. biopsy for DH. Found out afterwards from this forum that it should have been taken during an outbreak but it was taken two weeks after. vitaminD was 57 nmol/l in may08)

#9 Skylark

 
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Posted 06 April 2012 - 07:35 AM

I have heard some got sick from caugh syrup, but rarely ordinary pills.

I've been worried since someone reacted to a generic levothyroxine and confirmed the gluten with a home gluten test kit. Pills may be cleaner where you are.
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#10 nora_n

 
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Posted 06 April 2012 - 09:06 AM

wow that must be a lot of gluten, since the pills are so tiny and wheat starch now is around 20ppm or less.
(the gluten-free goods manufacturers got the suppliers to understand that ALL gluten-free flour now needs to be purer, so they changed the process and started to make purer wheat starch)
(they use wheat starch based gluten-free foods here that test below 20 ppm)
(even that is too much for me)

The only pills I have seen with wheat starch, is a calcium carbonate over the counter tablet intended to relieve too much stomach acid, and caugh syrup often has glucose syrup that is made from wheat, and several kids got sick
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gluten-free since may 06 after neg. biopsy symptoms went away and DH symptoms which I had since 03 got gradually better.
daughter officially diagnosed celiac and casein intolerant.
non-DQ2 or DQ8. Maybe DQ1? Updated: Yes, double DQ5
Hypothyroid since 2000, thyroxine first started to work well 06 on a low-carb and gluten-free diet
Lost 20 kg after going gluten-free and weighing 53 kg now. neg. biopsy for DH. Found out afterwards from this forum that it should have been taken during an outbreak but it was taken two weeks after. vitaminD was 57 nmol/l in may08)

#11 StephanieL

 
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Posted 06 April 2012 - 10:17 AM

I have been rounds with our pharmacy about this. I am the one who has to call the manufacturers. Thing is, esp. with generic, they get different brands all the time. It's whatever the distributer gives them. It can be any brand and all brands are not the same.

Also, it isn't just YOUR pills you need to worry about. They trays they use to count pills aren't washed daily let alone between scripts. So if pill X has gluten and is counted and yours is next, guess what tray they use to count? And the pills that aren't used are dumped back into the bottle so now they'll all be one happy x-con problem.

I have the "luxury" to be able to afford DS's thyroid meds by the bottle. I called the manufacturer for gluten and they said it was fine. I will be sure the pharmacy gets the same generic and I choose to pay out of pocket for a full unopened bottle. Because we chose to do this the insurance won't pay for it.
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#12 Takala

 
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Posted 06 April 2012 - 12:53 PM

So many celiacs have thyroid disease, and vice versa, I would love to see a method to force drug manufacturers selling this medication to disclose the true ingredients on every batch regarding whether or not it contains gluten. Not doing so is as crazy as putting, say, ragweed into antihistamines, sulphites into rescue inhalers, or sugar into diabetes medications, or caffeine into cardiac meds.

You would think the medical community of physicians would at least be concerned about this crazy scenario of drug manufacturers using an ingredient which provokes the auto immune response which then causes the secondary associated diseases... hello ? :o
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#13 StephanieL

 
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Posted 06 April 2012 - 05:01 PM

You would think the medical community of physicians would at least be concerned about this crazy scenario of drug manufacturers using an ingredient which provokes the auto immune response which then causes the secondary associated diseases... hello ? :o


My child also has life threatening food allergies. They are not required to label ANYTHING in drugs. I have to call on everything and have many times had to forgo giving my kid meds for days while I get all the information I need to safely give it to him. It is a total pain and I can't believe they aren't required to include this information about the meds. Also, I really dislike that the RPh aren't interested in helping people find this information out.
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#14 melikamaui

 
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Posted 06 April 2012 - 05:37 PM

I just went through this last week. My oldest needed a script and I needed to get to the Clartin behind the pharmacy counter, which where I live, is under lock and key due to people making meth out of it. I had never bought this specific type of Claritin and needed to know if it was gluten-free. The pharmacist shrugged her shoulders, looked at the ingredients for all of about 3 seconds and said "Looks ok to me"! Um...not good enough. I told her I needed to call the manufacturer but they wouldn't let me remove it from the counter in order to do it. They said I had to buy it (and register my drivers license number in order to do so because of the meth dealers), call the manufacturer myself and then return it if need be. I couldn't believe it. So literally I bought it, stepped back two feet and made the call. I found out it was NOT gluten free (an FYI for all of you, the meltable children's Claritin allergy tablets contain gluten) and needed to return it. Then she informs me that I have to go to customer service to do the return, which was on a totally different floor of the store. Crazy! I was really disappointed that the pharmacists knew so little and were so casual about letting me buy something that could really do damage to my child.
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#15 mushroom

 
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Posted 06 April 2012 - 06:44 PM

I was really disappointed that the pharmacists knew so little and were so casual about letting me buy something that could really do damage to my child.


Blut at least in doing so they didn't break the law


:P :blink: :unsure: :rolleyes:
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Neroli


"Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted." - Albert Einstein

"Life is not weathering the storm; it is learning to dance in the rain"

"Whatever the question, the answer is always chocolate." Nigella Lawson

------------

Caffeine free 1973
Lactose free 1990
(Mis)diagnosed IBS, fibromyalgia '80's and '90's
Diagnosed psoriatic arthritis 2004
Self-diagnosed gluten intolerant, gluten-free Nov. 2007
Soy free March 2008
Nightshade free Feb 2009
Citric acid free June 2009
Potato starch free July 2009
(Totally) corn free Nov. 2009
Legume free March 2010
Now tolerant of lactose

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator




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