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sammers1

Please Stop Hating Pharmacists

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There are many posts on here about how unhelpful people's Pharmacists are. I am a Pharmacist & I am a very helpful one, willing to go the extra mile. When you are getting angry at us for not knowing the gluten status of a med, please know that we have ingredient lists similar to food labels. However, we all know that we can't trust a food JUST by reading the label because of hidden gluten & cc. We are not taught anything about Celiac disease in school so this may be the first time some pharmacists are hearing about it. That is not our fault. We have to call the same manufacturers & talk to the same people you do & they are not any more or less helpful to us. When people come in to get medication, we may have 20 people ahead of them. If a customer needs to know the gluten free status of a med, I would gladly call but I may not be able to call THAT SECOND. I may have to call them back after having the time to call. I am willing to do that. We are under extreme pressure to be like McDonald's & get meds out in minutes but we are more than fast food restaurants. We need to make sure that a med is right for someone, that the doctor didn't make a mistake, that the right drug is going out to the right patient & fight with insurance companies in between. All while the phone rings, patients come in to pick up & some come to ring up their milk at the register. We have an extremely serious job that people minimize when they are in a rush. I'm sure most Pharmacists, given a little time, would be happy to find out what you need to know. We are not given enough help & we work LONG days, some work 14 hours at a time. I can only spea for myself & my colleagues, but we are willing to help. People just need to be a little patient. Don't talk to a cashier, speak to the Pharmacist & don't expect that we have the same knowledge about Celiac as you do. I only know what I know because I am a mothe to a daughter with Celiac. I didn't know anything about it before her diagnosis. That being said, I would never feel comfortable with someone else calling a manufacturer for me if they weren't 100% knowledgeable on gluten & how it can be hidden. We all know it can be & just because it doesn't say wheat doesn't make it gluten free.

I'm sorry for my rant & I hope no one is offended. Awareness about Celiac is increasing but we have a long way to go. The FDA needs to do something, Pharmacists cannot.

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Dear Sammers

I understand your frustration and you make an excellent point. As a consumer, what would help me then is the phone number for the manufacturer - I'd be very happy to make my own phone call to their Customer Service line. My Mom used to work for a generic firm and that was part of her job: talking to the consumer directly about the products. Not about how the drug works, but does the presc. contain gluten, animal gelatin, etc. She also would write up the complaints (adverse reactions) and respond to the letters about these issues as the drug company has to report the complaints to the FDA.

Thank you for helping all of us understand better what our pharmacist is up against.


Husband has Celiac Disease and

Husband misdiagnosed for 27 yrs -

The misdiagnosis was: IBS or colitis

Mis-diagnosed from 1977 to 2003 by various gastros including one of the largest,

most prestigious medical groups in northern NJ which constantly advertises themselves as

being the "best." This GI told him it was "all in his head."

Serious Depressive state ensued

Finally Diagnosed with celiac disease in 2003

Other food sensitivities: almost all fruits, vegetables, spices, eggs, nuts, yeast, fried foods, roughage, soy.

Needs to gain back at least 25 lbs. of the 40 lbs pounds he lost - lost a great amout of body fat and muscle

Developed neuropathy in 2005

Now has lymphadema 2006It is my opinion that his subsequent disorders could have been avoided had he been diagnosed sooner by any of the dozen or so doctors he saw between 1977 to 2003

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We've had a couple posts about great pharmacists who've been very helpful - whether it was right away or later. But it has happened that we've had a couple of recent posts about pharmacists who've said it's not their job to find out whether or not a drug is gluten free, or that there's no way to find out, end of story.

Kudos to you, and those you know in the field, however, for being more responsible than that! :)


Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"

Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy

G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004

Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me

Bellevue, WA

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I have never blamed, nor do I get mad at my Pharmacist. My blame lays entirely on the manufacturer and the obvious need for change regarding a consumers ability to easily determine what is in their medication.


Jennifer

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Sammers1

I totally agree with your post---- the pharmacists is our friend, not our enemy. The drug companies are the ones who need to make this info easily available to their consumers.

The patient should take their complaints to the supplier------ not the dispenser. The poor pharmacists has enough problems without having to be our middleman.

:)


CeeCee

Allergic to: wheat, peanuts and Penicillin

1995 severe anaphylactic reaction to Wheat

Gluten free since Sept. 2006

"Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently"--- Henry Ford

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I have never blamed, nor do I get mad at my Pharmacist. My blame lays entirely on the manufacturer and the obvious need for change regarding a consumers ability to easily determine what is in their medication.

I agree totally with this but my anger is more at the FDA that fails to regulate or require clear labeling on any meds. I have had some great pharmacists and I have had some that were so frustrated by this issue that they took it out on me. I fully understand their frustration as we deal with it every day. I usually ask for the data sheet and call myself when I get home. I have found it helps if the doctor only prescribes name brand not generic drugs, from what I understand they are less risky and many times it seems easier to get a clear answer on them because they always use the same binders.


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)

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 in time with proper diagnosis of Celiac November 2002

 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)

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I have found it helps if the doctor only prescribes name brand not generic drugs, from what I understand they are less risky and many times it seems easier to get a clear answer on them because they always use the same binders.

I totally agree. I just asked my Dr. to switch one of my meds to brand because the generic manufacturer was so ignorant and rude. Pfizer, had the information right on their website. It shouldn't have to be that way though, you know?


Jennifer

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I have a pharmacist that has been very helpful to me since I went gluten free. When I was trying to figure out what I was missing, she checked all the drugs that I was taking. She did have to get back to me. One of the items was an ointment and the manufacturer had told her that it wouldn't matter if it contained gluten because it was an ointment. I was using is in the vaginal area and wanted to make sure it was gluten free. She checked further and did find out that it was gluten free for sure. I have had so many adverse drug reactions that I avoid medication when at all possible.

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First, I would like to address something I just read from Morrisum--please do not put your trust in Pfizer, they lie to their patients. Pfizer's hides facts about gluten and I am surprised you haven;t heard that already, I will never trust Pfizer again. For years they told us that Xanax was gluten free, the last time I checked, it was still on the www.glutenfreedrugs.com list, but, Pfizer now states refuses they ever said it was. I talked personally to one of their pharmacists, after it became public, that Pfizer's Xanax does contain gluten, the pharmacist stated "it always has!" Just as their generic company brand "Greenstone" contains gluten. So, be very careful with Pfizer brands.

Sammers1--I have a pharmacist who has always been very helpful. I never ask him to research a med, I only ask that he give me the generic company name and phone# so I can do the leg work, so to speak--often times, he offers to call, which I feel is very considerate, even though, I prefer to do the calling. My complain, was the CVS pharmacist who was extremely rude to me and stated, very loudly to me that he didn't know what gluten free was, nor did he care. Another time, I had called and asked for an 800# for a generic brand of Celexa and he told me he doesn't have access to 800# and I had to find out for myself, that he doesn't have time to bother with me. Exactly like that. I emailed CVS. That very day I received a phone call from his supervisor and he was very upset. He had spoken to him and advised him that he was not to ever speak to a patient in that manner again. Then he assured me that I would always be treated with the utmost respect by the pharmacist at my local CVS to which I did thank him, but I also added I would never trust the pharmacist to give me the proper info now. I will never trust the pharmicist again. I did go there one more time, for a generic brand of Xanax that was gluten free, that I could not find anywhere else.

I work for a doctor and I know that when patients have questions, we do the leg work, not the doctor. The same goes for you. The pharmicist does not have to give me the 800#, the pharmacy tech can do it just as well, and I would be happy.

I might add, I wish you were my pharmicist!


Deb

Long Island, NY

Double DQ1, subtype 6

We urge all doctors to take time to listen to your patients.. don't "isolate" symptoms but look at the whole spectrum. If a patient tells you s/he feels as if s/he's falling apart and "nothing seems to be working properly", chances are s/he's right!

"The calm river of your life approaches the rocky chute of the rapids - flow on through. You are the same water. The rocks cannot hurt you. Remember, now and then, that you are the water and not the boat. Flow on!

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I have found it helps if the doctor only prescribes name brand not generic drugs, from what I understand they are less risky and many times it seems easier to get a clear answer on them because they always use the same binders.

and the brand name pharmaceutical companies offices (for phone numbers and websites) are easier to locate than the generics


Husband has Celiac Disease and

Husband misdiagnosed for 27 yrs -

The misdiagnosis was: IBS or colitis

Mis-diagnosed from 1977 to 2003 by various gastros including one of the largest,

most prestigious medical groups in northern NJ which constantly advertises themselves as

being the "best." This GI told him it was "all in his head."

Serious Depressive state ensued

Finally Diagnosed with celiac disease in 2003

Other food sensitivities: almost all fruits, vegetables, spices, eggs, nuts, yeast, fried foods, roughage, soy.

Needs to gain back at least 25 lbs. of the 40 lbs pounds he lost - lost a great amout of body fat and muscle

Developed neuropathy in 2005

Now has lymphadema 2006It is my opinion that his subsequent disorders could have been avoided had he been diagnosed sooner by any of the dozen or so doctors he saw between 1977 to 2003

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Although it just occurred to me that the large pharmacy chains like CVS, Rite Aide etc. should have a toll free number for people to at least check into the prescription or get a phone number from them for the pharmaceutical company at least. That would improve Customer Service.


Husband has Celiac Disease and

Husband misdiagnosed for 27 yrs -

The misdiagnosis was: IBS or colitis

Mis-diagnosed from 1977 to 2003 by various gastros including one of the largest,

most prestigious medical groups in northern NJ which constantly advertises themselves as

being the "best." This GI told him it was "all in his head."

Serious Depressive state ensued

Finally Diagnosed with celiac disease in 2003

Other food sensitivities: almost all fruits, vegetables, spices, eggs, nuts, yeast, fried foods, roughage, soy.

Needs to gain back at least 25 lbs. of the 40 lbs pounds he lost - lost a great amout of body fat and muscle

Developed neuropathy in 2005

Now has lymphadema 2006It is my opinion that his subsequent disorders could have been avoided had he been diagnosed sooner by any of the dozen or so doctors he saw between 1977 to 2003

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I have found it helps if the doctor only prescribes name brand not generic drugs, from what I understand they are less risky and many times it seems easier to get a clear answer on them [i]because they always use the same binders.

This is not always the case. Bayer Sherring Plow just told me via a phone call that they get their ingredients from different suppliers and can't gaurentee that their Cipro is gluten free. Many large companies bid out to different suppliers for ingredients. The only way to know for sure is to check with the manufacturer every time.


Joni

Dx'd with Celiac Disease 8/01/07

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This is not always the case. Bayer Sherring Plow just told me via a phone call that they get their ingredients from different suppliers and can't gaurentee that their Cipro is gluten free. Many large companies bid out to different suppliers for ingredients. The only way to know for sure is to check with the manufacturer every time.

Oh Rats!!


Husband has Celiac Disease and

Husband misdiagnosed for 27 yrs -

The misdiagnosis was: IBS or colitis

Mis-diagnosed from 1977 to 2003 by various gastros including one of the largest,

most prestigious medical groups in northern NJ which constantly advertises themselves as

being the "best." This GI told him it was "all in his head."

Serious Depressive state ensued

Finally Diagnosed with celiac disease in 2003

Other food sensitivities: almost all fruits, vegetables, spices, eggs, nuts, yeast, fried foods, roughage, soy.

Needs to gain back at least 25 lbs. of the 40 lbs pounds he lost - lost a great amout of body fat and muscle

Developed neuropathy in 2005

Now has lymphadema 2006It is my opinion that his subsequent disorders could have been avoided had he been diagnosed sooner by any of the dozen or so doctors he saw between 1977 to 2003

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