AIBU to expect health advice not a sales pitch from a pharmacist?

(7 Posts)
teacherlikesapples Wed 10-Aug-16 02:55:15

My 8 month old has been unwell with a virus for 13 days now. We have seen a doctor, who has said to try & keep her rested & hydrated. She has now developed a real chesty cough that is keeping her awake at night. The Doctor did say this was a possibility with the virus. We are all pretty sleep deprived, and I was desperate to find her some relief.
I called into our local pharmacy & explained the situation to the intern pharmacist, and asked if there was anything safe & effective to give her or whether it was just best to wait it out.

He said I should definitely try a cough syrup with Ivy leaf in it. I asked him whether it actually had actual active ingredients in it, as I wasn't into alternative unproven options, especially if they only as effective as a placebo. he said that it was a good option & I should definitely try it. $27 (£15!) later.

A few days later, the cough syrup has had zero effect, and there is now an article in our local paper saying that these syrups should not be used with babies or children under 10 as there is no evidence on their efficacy or safety It links to this for more info: www.nps.org.au/topics/how-to-be-medicinewise/Medicinewise-questions/medicinewise-questions/ivy-leaf-extract-for-childrens-coughs

When I called the pharmacy for more info, the manager said I should not have spoken to the intern, and that I should have made my own made up whether the product was safe or not. I said that it was reasonable to expect health advice from people working in the pharmacy, rather than a sales pitch pushing products. That if the intern didn't feel qualified to answer my questions he should have referred me to the pharmacist. She just said the product was safe & any other staff would have told me the same and the qualifications didn't mean anything anymore any way? (WTF?)

AIBU to have expected actual health advice and to not be sold this bottle of useless herbs, which may or may not be safe for babies?

honeysucklejasmine Wed 10-Aug-16 03:01:42

YANBU if you were in UK. But if not, I am not sure how the role of pharmacist is different, but would prob be a bit more cautious.

Manager clearly bonkers though!

teacherlikesapples Wed 10-Aug-16 03:03:36

I'm in New Zealand, the role is promoted as very similar.

Archduke Wed 10-Aug-16 03:09:03

YANBU - do you get The Checkout in NZ? They had a good item on Pharmacies the other week - you may be able to see it on iView.

We were told by the doc to keep dd warm, use a humidifyer thingy (no scientific evidence but anecdotally they are quite good), Vicks vapour rub also good, when dd had similar bronchial coughs.

Hope your dd feels better soon and you can all get some sleep.

a1992 Wed 10-Aug-16 07:33:04

I'm in NZ too, i expect people to know their stuff when I ask questions at the pharmacy and act like an adult and say "I'm not sure, let's ask the pharmacist" if they are not sure/can't answer me fully.

I also expect people not to sell me something that they know isn't safe for babies when I tell them I'm looking for something for a baby.

Was it a chain or independent pharmacy?

acasualobserver Wed 10-Aug-16 08:08:06

How did you know you were consulting an "intern pharmacist"? Also, what exactly does that mean? Did you realise you were talking to an unqualified/partly qualified person?

teacherlikesapples Wed 10-Aug-16 09:31:02

This is my expectation as well. I asked to speak with the pharmacist & this guy came to speak with me. He had "intern pharmacist" on his name badge, but even if it was just the sales person, I would have expected them to say "Sorry, not 100% sure, let's check with the pharmacist". If they were even slightly unsure about my questions or what they were claiming.

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