All my worries about the new doctor yesterday were totally unfounded. Visit was short, totally productive and without any problems at all.
But….I was reminded yesterday: new pharmacists can be as bad as new doctors.
Yesterday I got the official ok to start Methotrexate, so dr’s office called it in to local pharmacy, along with folic acid. I’ll skip the part of the story with missing scripts and having to get dr’s office involved a second time. That part is minor compared to the rest.
My normal pharmacist is on vacation. I love her. She knows me by name, remembers my meds, offers great advice. Her fill in- total opposite.
I arrive to pick up the MTX, and it isn’t ready yet. So I wait a few minutes. Finally, clerk brings it over and starts to ring me up.
Clerk: You’ve taken this before, right?
Me: No, not at all.
Clerk: Calls Fill-in Pharmacist over
Fill In Pharmacist: Your doctor gave you instructions for this right?
Me: I think so
Fill In: Well, the instructions are really specific. Let me read them to you.
Fill In: Ok. (reads from label) “Take 4 tablets once a week”
Fill In: Well, that’s pretty much it. Have a good day.
Me: Stands in stunned silence
I have gotten better medication counseling for refill scripts. I have gotten better medication counseling for pretty much every other medication I have ever taken. And this drug is not exactly a light weight. We aren’t talking about a vitamin here, or extra strength tylenol.
MTX is a chemo drug given in low doses for RA. The product info sheet was written in teeny tiny font in order to fit all the info on there (one piece of info included that patients should wear id bracelets- I wonder if this is true).
I am so angry at this pharmacist. Sure, I know about this medication. Obviously, I know more than he does. I know to call the doctor if m side effects are too bad (and they very well may be); I know to call the doctor if I get an infection because I can’t have one while on MTX; I know I have to go in for regular labs to monitor my liver function while I take this med. These are things pharmacist should be telling patients. It is his job not to just hand out pills, but to make sure they are taken properly. Had I not done my research and been as knowledgeable as I am, I would think the only important info is that I take four pills once a week. I feel so bad for all the people who go into pick up meds without doing their own research- how many people has he screwed over with this kind of approach?
That is unacceptable.
Needless to say, I will be lodging a complaint when my normal pharmacist returns.
And on a side note: I start MTX tonight. Pretty freaked out, to be honest. But, we’ll see…