When I graduated from pharmacy school in 1989, I was eager to ease the world’s suffering. At that time, my profession was rated the No. 1 “trusted” profession in the country. How could anything I dispense be bad?
Maybe I’m the sensitive sort, but I got really upset when my patients called the pharmacy to describe their new, uncomfortable side effect. For example, I would fill a prescription for a muscle relaxer like “cyclobenzaprine” and then get a frantic call from someone who became very dizzy or zoned out. Once, I filled a prescription for sumatriptan and then four hours later, took a call from the patient who said she was feeling mild chest pain and was very weak. The most memorable one was when I dispensed an analgesic and heard from the wife that he had gone to sleep and not waken up in six hours! I could tell you more stories but you get the point. Pharmacists, as a whole, care very much about our patients. It makes us sad to hear that the medication we dispense causes a detrimental side effect for you. Fortunately, side effects don’t occur all the time, or with every single person. There are a handful of lucky ones, and I think we all agree that some medicines are essential, and worth the mild side effects.
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