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Monday, June 15, 2009


I wish I knew my brand to generic names better. I haven't had to memorize the Top 200 yet, so my knowledge on them is pathetic at best. An example:

A nurse from a walk-in calls my pharmacy to call in a script.

"HiPharmDStudent, I'mcallinginascript," she said hurriedly.

"Ok what's the name and birthdate?" I asked.

"SallyParker, ohsixohseveneightyfour," she rushes, "It'sfor Diflucan, thedoctorisWiess."

"Ok," I say, trying to keep up with her, she almost hangs up the phone. "Whoa, hold on there, is there a strength on that, or an amount, or directions?"

"Uh, well isn't there just one strength?" she finally says at a normal speed, "And I know it's just one pill."

"Uh, no, there's at least 2 strengths, 100mg and 150mg, do you have any idea which one it is?" I ask.

"Um, no, I guess I'll have to talk to the doctor," she responded.

It's at this point that I think this nurse is an idiot for not getting this information in the first place, but if I had known that Diflucan was Fluconazole, this wouldn't have been a problem. I felt like the idiot when I looked up the generic and realized that it was obviously going to be the 150mg and the directions would be "Take 1 tablet by mouth." It's for a yeast infection, and I've filled hundreds of scripts for it. I should've known this, but I never knew the damn brand name.

Of course, the blame most certainly isn't all on me. The doctor is to blame for not writing a full script, or just telling his nurse 150mg. I mean come on, how hard is that? The blame can also partly rest on the nurse, who should've known that I needed more information than just a drug name. Maybe if the nurse hadn't been in such a rush to get back to her US magazine this could have been avoided.

I always take the blame when I've made a mistake, but on this one I think I'm fairly blame-free.


  1. You know what that happens? The only reason the nurse (or other doctor's representative) calls in prescriptions like that is because they hear the dumbass doctors speaking at 100 mph when they call in prescriptions, and think that the correct way to do it. They haven't yet discovered the importance of speaking slowly and clearly. It's only until someone gets hurt or until you correct them that their comprehension will change.

    So, here's what you do.

    Let them rattle off whatever they want in an incomprehensible speed-demon way, thinking it makes them sound smarter. Let them speak their gibberish. After they come to a pause, tell them "hold on and let me get a prescription pad". That usually seems to get the message across.

    If not, then do what I do.

    Tell them they're speaking too fast and to SLOW DOWN. That usually does it.

    If THAT doesn't work, explain the importance of preventing dispensing errors, hang-up and let them call back or call someone else willing to assume the liability.

  2. They like to do that with Azithromycin too.

    Oh, there's also a 200mg form of Fluconazole. That's usually for the 30 day treatment though

  3. There's also a 50mg pill of fluconazole, that I get for my dog!