Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

Refused co-codamol at Sainsbury's

(113 Posts)
pianodoodle Fri 13-Sep-13 08:35:16

Because I'm pregnant sad

Genuinely unsure if this is something I should be peeved about or not which is why I didn't make a fuss at the time but have been thinking about it since!

Am 25wks with DC2. Last pregnancy I took an absolute killer migraine one night and DH called the doctor who gave me a couple of paltry ibuprofen because I was pregnant. It was a nightmare I was debilitated with it for days.

When I next saw the GP she was pretty unimpressed and said if it happened again to get something stronger regardless as a once off. Normally For a migraine I have either taken tramadol or co-codamol 30/500.

I don't want to take either of those during pregnancy but when I was out yesterday thought I'll buy some weak co-codamol (8/500) to keep just in case.

The lady asked if they were for me and I said yes then she looked at my bump and said "oh I don't think I can sell you these you aren't really supposed to take them"

She had taken them back off the counter and put them back on the shelf and wasn't making any attempt to clarify with the pharmacist or anything. It was hot and DD was getting impatient so rather than make a fuss I just left and bought them in Boots.

I did feel like pointing out that I hadn't actually told her I was pregnant (how rude etc... I might just be very very bloated!) but DH laughed at me though he agreed it was silly considering I could freely buy a bottle of whiskey and a pack of cigars but not some painkillers! I know medicine is probably regulated differently and they may have the right to refuse but still.

I went away feeling a bit patronised nonetheless. Possibly hormones! Has anyone else been refused a chemist sale like this before?

pianodoodle Fri 13-Sep-13 08:36:55

P.s I didn't actually buy whiskey and cigars smile

FloraDance Fri 13-Sep-13 08:39:14

I am a student midwife and we are suddenly having trouble with pharmacists refusing postnatal women that co coda mol strength. We usually try and get a prescription so it's free anyway but that can be a faff. Have had a deadline today but do mean to check whether new guidance has been issued, I assume it has!

ArabellaBeaumaris Fri 13-Sep-13 08:39:37

I bought co-codamol when I was heavily pregnant - my midwife had told me to have it in for after the birth as I was planning a homebirth. The pharmacist did question me as to whether it was for me & told me I couldn't use it while pregnant, but she did sell it to me when I explained the situation.

I dislike the nannying of pregnant women & I suppose I think the salesperson should have made you aware that you can't use cocodamol safely in pregnancy & then left it up to you. I understand that you feel peeved.

Groovee Fri 13-Sep-13 08:39:45

I was refused co-codamol in pregnancy with my dd by my GP. If you need something I would go via the GP, than a pharmacy. I think the assistant was only covering themselves.

FloraDance Fri 13-Sep-13 08:40:04

I agree that she shouldn't have assumed and should have referred you to the pharmacist.

Pollywallywinkles Fri 13-Sep-13 08:45:48

I believe that codeine should only be taken during pregnancy if your doctor thinks you need it, so I'm not suprised that they wouldn't sell it to you.

Go to see your GP if you do find you need some stronger pain relief and if its thought suitable they should prescribe it for you.

pianodoodle Fri 13-Sep-13 08:47:39

I suppose a prescription is always free at the minute so might be worth bringing it up with GP just to see.

I didn't want to risk making an arse of myself in the shop when I wasn't sure what the score was but I just felt a bit like I was on the naughty step!

I could have queried it further but her manner was pretty much "this conversation is over"

intitgrand Fri 13-Sep-13 08:48:09

Why not just say it is for your DH

pianodoodle Fri 13-Sep-13 08:51:06

intitgrand I went into Boots afterwards with the intention of doing just that but all they asked was "have you taken it before?" as they were ringing it through the till.

coraltoes Fri 13-Sep-13 08:56:06

i was refused sushi once. I kicked off in a big way. My brain, my body, my choice. I may have ended up with a lot of free sushi as an apology.

Sephy Fri 13-Sep-13 08:56:35

I had similar when trying to buy the mini aspirin that had actually been prescribed to help prevent pre eclampsia (had forgotten my prescription!). Almost had to get a colleague to go out at lunch for me but in the end persuaded them I had a genuine need for it. So frustrating!

MrsGarlic Fri 13-Sep-13 09:00:44

I find it really condescending. In Boots once I picked up a tube of cream for my chub rub (i.e. to be applied on my thighs). I had the baby with me. Woman on the till asked if I was breastfeeding, I said yes. Cue enormous palaver where she had to go and find the pharmacist to see if I could apply this cream to my thighs while breastfeeding! I said I'd be happy to take the risk but no, they made me wait. FOR THIGH CREAM!

NoComet Fri 13-Sep-13 09:06:09

Your great error is telling the truth. Co-coda mil is clearly for your DH who is curled up in bed with a terrible head ache.

It's just not worth the fuss.

bamboobutton Fri 13-Sep-13 09:06:51

ive had this in sainsburys too, except I wasn't pregnant.

woman on the counter asked if they were for me, I said yes. she gave my poky-out but not in the slightest bit pregnant belly a look and asked if I was pregnant, no, I say. she looks very hmm and is probably thinking I am some sort of raving codeine addict that would tell such a glaring lie about my pregnancy!

I really felt like saying "im really not pregnant, just fat, but not as fat as you" but im cursed with outward politeness.

NoComet Fri 13-Sep-13 09:07:28

Fortunately they don't ask if your BF once the child is at school wink

YANBU but I don't think the assistant is the one to blame. She will have just been following rules and not wanting to risk her job. I think the problem is actually just how much pregnant women are seen as faceless incubators who need policing against their own stupidity and recklessness. Gets my goat it really does angry

pianodoodle Fri 13-Sep-13 09:16:49

Yes indeed that was my feeling (the faceless incubator thing!)

Just praying for no migraine this time. It is frightening that the sort of thing I've had to be heavily sedated because of normally is seen as something that I just have to suffer through because of the baby.

I know they have to be protected but I remember just weeping when DH came upstairs after the doctor left, with two ibuprofen for me - the type we probably had in the house anyway!

pianodoodle Fri 13-Sep-13 09:22:23

I'm not one for confrontation but in bamboobutton's situation I'd make an exception bloody hell!

I knew in the back of my head I'd be able to go elsewhere anyway but you know when it's a hot day and you've stuff to do etc... Little upsets seem more angry

Probably worried about being sued.

If Dr agrees it ok then just say they for someone else!

Deux Fri 13-Sep-13 09:30:15

I was refused Brolene eyedrops when i was pg with DD. maybe they thought i was going to drink all 10 mls of it. I was mad as hell.

I had to go to another chemist and say they were for DH.

Featherbag Fri 13-Sep-13 09:34:37

I've had to show my work ID to prove to a pharmacy assistant I was a HCP and promise to take responsibility for any harm I did to myself - for THROAT LOZENGES. I also had a jobsworth woman in Superdrug demand my maternity exemption card when getting a prescription filled, then stand with arms folded and a snooty expression while I spent ages raking in my handbag for it. I hadn't gotten it out ready as my bump at 28 weeks is ENORMOUS, I look almost full term!

DeWe Fri 13-Sep-13 09:35:18

I took codeine during pregnancy with ds. I was getting killer migraines for 3 days +. I had seen a doctor who'd advised it. But this was my sister, who wasn't with me at the time. No problems were raised at all.

I was refused Vitamin B6 tablets in pregnancy. I had been told they were good for morning sickness, but they're not licenced in pregnancy in the UK apparently. That was from the same pharmacist, so they obviously were thinking about such things.

HicDraconis Fri 13-Sep-13 09:35:23

Please don't take any more ibuprofen! It's not safe in pregnancy.

Cocodamol on the other hand should be ok as long as you aren't using it constantly (the risk with any opioid in pregnancy is the baby going through withdrawal post delivery). Paracetamol is safe if you stick to the 4g/24h limit.

pianodoodle Fri 13-Sep-13 09:39:03

Thanks Hic

Yes that's the first thing I thought last time as I've never taken ibuprofen in pregnancy and I wondered why I'd been given it by this doctor!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now