Friday, August 19, 2005

don't trust your pharmacist

my lastest illness turned into your basic cold. the huge pharmacy nearby looks like something from america in the 20's. the old gothic building houses old tall wooden cabinets with ovaltine ads etched in the glass panels, something from the days of british rule to be sure. these cabinets are crammed full of drugs of all sorts, seemingly haphazardly. i half expected to see mortars and pestles and someone muttering incantations. i added myself to the queueless hordes (not so fun being jammed together with sick poeple) and eventually found a space at the counter and a man who would help me. i told him i needed cold medicine, and he went off to rumage though the cabinets. after a few minutes he returned with a few sheets of pills. note that pills almost always come in those little tin foil sheets, as putting them in bottles would invite drug counterfeiting. note also that these sheets are often cut up into smaller sheets to the point where you can't read the ingredients or its MRP (retail price) or expiration date, unless you are lucky enough to get that part of the sheet. Also, dosages are never indicated on the drug as they are to be indicated by a physician. Anyway, he brought me a sheet of multi-symptom cold medication and a somthing-cillin. i asked what the something-cillin was, as the "cillin" suffix sure sounded like an antibotic to me. He confirmed it was indeed an antibiotic. he said i'm supposed to take the antibiotics along with the cold medicine. I looked at him with horror, and told him you're not supposed to take antibiotics for a cold. they are useless against viruses, i said. my rebellion was unexpected. another pharmacist backed him up. i told him i didn't want the antibiotics, purchased the cold medicine and walked home in the pouring rain. once home i realized i didn't know how many of the pills to take or how long they lasted. oh well, i would have to experiment.

anyway, somebody needs to tell indian pharmacists to stop giving antibiotics to cold sufferers or somebody needs to explain to me why i should have taken them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Antibiotics for everyone, helping to breed the next generation of superbug... I think you made the right call.

(You can always gargle hand sanitizer if you need a quick germ-kill, right?)