Tuesday, November 4, 2008

This gringa needs a ....

pharmacist that knows more about medicine than me!!

This is the way the pharmacies here work:
You don't need a prescription for most medications here.
You get sick. You go to the pharmacy, not the doctor, and tell them what your symptoms are. (Unless it's something serious, of course, then you go to the doctor. If it's just a cold, sinus infection, etc, you go straight to the pharmacy.) They then sell you the medicine that they think you need.

For the last couple of days I've been experiencing runny nose, headache, and cough. This morning I self-diagnosed myself as having allergic rhinitis. I took some pseudophedrine, but also needed an expectorant for my annoying dry cough. I walked to the pharmacy down the street to buy some. According to Jose's parents, it's the best pharmacy in the city. I went prepared. I wrote down the name of what I wanted, the ingredients, possible brand names, and even looked up the names of the ingredients in Spanish before I went.
When I told them what I wanted, they didn't know what I was talking about. I had to walk behind the counters and pick out what I needed myself.
I also had to correct them twice:
1. At one point they told me I should be taking X medicine. I asked them if it could interact with anything else that I might be taking, and they said NO. This was just a test because I knew before asking that it CAN interact with my anxiety medicine and I shouldn't take any medicines with that particular ingredient.
2. I thought while I was there I would check on the price of my anxiety medication (before my supply runs out in a couple of weeks). I argued with the pharmacist over this as well. He wouldn't believe what I was saying about it until I asked for his "drug book," as he called it. I had to look up the medicines and show him what I was talking about.
After I corrected him the second time, he said, "Oh you are very smart, you should come work here!"
This is the second time a pharmacist in Tegucigalpa has told me this. I'm thinking about opening up a pharmacy.


Honduras Sprout said...

Are we related? LOL!
My husband has learned to deal with this to a point. The only problem is that I can't be the one asking questions and making corrections. My husband's uncle owns a pharmacy and that is where we usually get all our medications and I will send my husband off to get something (I have terrible allergies here in Honduras and that is one reason I'm up right now reading your blog and writing this comment) and that is usually where issues start.

Hannah said...

Isn't it horrible? I keep telling Jose that I want to go visit UNAH (where they study to become pharmacists/doctors) and see what's really going on over there. I mean, are they even teaching them anything?! LOL!