to be upset with the pharmacist?

(88 Posts)
snowsuit Fri 16-Sep-16 23:36:35

i'm 30 weeks pg with twins and taking a baby aspirin a day (started before getting pregnant for migraine prevention). every midwife i've seen has noticed that i'm taking aspirin, and has said it's fine to carry on. my consultant talked to me about it too, he thinks it's a good idea to take it in twin pregnancies, and told me specifically to carry on taking it and not to stop suddenly as this might make my blood more likely to clot.

we have a friend coming to stay this weekend so DH did a big clean of the house yesterday AM, and my little bottle of baby aspirin was nowhere to be found afterwards, so i missed yesterday's dose. i looked for it today and when i couldn't find it, i thought i'd better get some more as otherwise i'd be going 3 days without it.

i managed to drive to our little local boots, hobbled in (i have horrible pgp) and presented myself, only to be told by the pharmacist that she couldn't sell me low-dose aspirin and that i'd have to get a doctor's prescription! i explained that i'd been taking it long-term, that i was under consultant care and that he'd told me specifically to carry on taking it, but she wouldn't budge. her argument was that as i was pregnant, she would be selling it to my babies, who are under 18 hmm. i started to get quite upset as i was worried about missing another dose, especially since i won't have the car tomorrow and can't get to the shops on foot.

i then pointed out that i'd bought it at the bigger boots in town about 3 weeks ago, and said something like 'this is silly, i guess i'll just have to go there and get it' and the pharmacist said 'well i'll just call them and tell them not to sell it to you'. she then said she had to call my GP, which she did, and spoke to the receptionist, who pulled up my records and said i'd never been prescribed aspirin (which i'd already told them). in the end the receptionist managed to get hold of my doctor on her mobile (she'd left for the day) and she told the pharmacist to sell it to me, but she was still really reluctant and kept saying that 'you know this is illegal' and 'i'm breaking the law doing this for you'. after i'd finally bought it she said, in a placating way, 'i could have sold you full dose aspirin with no problem, just not baby aspirin' hmm.

i googled and can't find any evidence that it's illegal to sell baby aspirin without a prescription - it seems like it's at the pharmacist's discretion. and being able to sell full-dose aspirin but not low-dose to a pregnant woman - is that really true??

i felt crappy and cried afterwards. she made me feel like a criminal, and like i was putting her in a bad position. AIBU??

steff13 Fri 16-Sep-16 23:44:36

Well, I'm in the US, so the idea that a pharmacist would have anything to do with buying aspirin of any kind is strange to me. I'm sorry, it sounds very upsetting.

CodyKing Fri 16-Sep-16 23:50:51

I think you need the doctor to clarify the situation in their records -

Sounds a bit strange really!

Maybe you should get it on prescription and save all the hassle.

JellyBelli Fri 16-Sep-16 23:54:22

I dont think you were being unreasonable, and I'd complain about being treated that way. flowers

MrsJoeyMaynard Fri 16-Sep-16 23:55:40

I think some pharmacists are super cautious about giving aspirin to pregnant women.

I was prescribed aspirin by a consultant obstetrician when pregnant with DS1 for reasons relating to the pregnancy.

When I took the prescription to a pharmacy, the pharmacist refused to dispense the prescription until she'd phoned the hospital and checked that the consultant obstetrician knew I was pregnant and had meant to prescribe me aspirin. hmm
Pharmacist went on a bit about possible risks of taking aspirin in pregnancy while trying to get hold of the consultant.

Seems bizarre that a pharmacist would be happy to sell you full dose aspirin for your personal use when pregnant, but not low dose aspirin. If anything, you'd think that logically it should be the other way round.

Barmaid101 Sat 17-Sep-16 00:00:15

If it's a prescription only drug, which many are, especially child dosage versions, then it is only right that you need a prescription. I can't blame the pharmacist for wanting to follow the rules especially with the blame culture we have today. Maybe your issue should be with your husband for not taking more care.

CodyKing Sat 17-Sep-16 00:04:37

Maybe your issue should be with your husband for not taking more care.

Made me LOL!! Use confirms them you wouldn't be in this situation grin

CodyKing Sat 17-Sep-16 00:05:06

*condoms even

BlueLeopard Sat 17-Sep-16 00:06:57

Are you in Ireland? Because that is the exact setup here - aspirin is available over the counter but baby aspirin is prescription only. It's because of a funny classification (its often prescribed for cardiac patients for example) so its treated as a serious medicine.

It sucks.

MrsJoeyMaynard Sat 17-Sep-16 00:07:08

OP says that she's never been prescribed baby aspirin, so it can't be a prescription only version that she was asking the pharmacist for.

LifeInJeneral Sat 17-Sep-16 00:07:56

Is baby aspirin 75mg? I had to take a low dose of 75mg as I had low PAPP-A which apparently put me at higher risk or developing pre-eclampsia. I could get it over the counter with no problem but they only ever seemed to sell the soluble ones at that dose.

RhodaBorrocks Sat 17-Sep-16 00:10:06

Pharmacists have been given a lot more responsibility now and I think they are very strictly regulated. If they do the slightest thing wrong then bang goes their career for good.

That said, I've been very frustrated by Pharmacists. Both DS and I have consultant prescribed off-licence medication (him for sleep, me anti rejection drugs) and some Pharmacists will just order in with no more questions (as you can see its an official consultant prescription, proper credentials etc). Others get all jumped up:

"This isn't licenced!"
"Yes, I know."
"I can't prescribe it."
"Yes you can, that's a proper prescription."
"Well I'll have to call them to check they meant to prescribe this."
* Calls consultant, insists on speaking to the actual consultant. Gets told not to waste their time * grin

It's happened more than once. confused

MrsHam13 Sat 17-Sep-16 00:10:29

The pharmacist is putting her license at risk by selling things not advised for pregnant women without checking first. She could of handled it better but she needed to check.

April241 Sat 17-Sep-16 00:11:29

barmaid it isn't a prescription drug and it's also not for children, it's called baby aspirin as its a low dose (75mg).

Jigglypuffsinging Sat 17-Sep-16 00:13:16

Barmaid - aspirin doesn't come in 'child' doses; in fact children under 16 cannot take aspirin, due to the risk of Reye's Syndrome. The OP said 'baby aspirin' referring to the fact that it is 1/4 of the strength of a normal aspirin tablet. This size is commonly recommended to certain people if they are at risk of heart disease, or during pregnancy, if there is a risk of sticky blood clotting the placenta or cord.

maddening Sat 17-Sep-16 00:13:30

A pharmacist my Dh went to for me asked for baby aspirin and they were funny about it, pharmacist explained it isapparently a thing due to people being confused and thinking you could use it for small children/babies due to the wording"baby aspirin" - had no problem when asked for "low dose aspirin"

HolgerDanske Sat 17-Sep-16 00:17:05

A pharmacist is directly liable for every single item they sell. So they are reasonably very, very careful.

I'm sorry this was upsetting for you flowers

honeysucklejasmine Sat 17-Sep-16 00:19:27

Tesco sell it on their shelves. Next to the 16p boxes of paracetamol. No pharmacist involved.

I started sending dh to buy various medicines for me in my pregnancy. I too was refused aspirin (recommended by midwife) in Sainsburys pharmacy.

VioletBam Sat 17-Sep-16 00:21:43

Oh is it not for babies then Maddening? What a stupid name to give it then!

OP yanbu. It's ridiculous!

Iggi999 Sat 17-Sep-16 00:21:47

I took it when pg - not visibly so though - easy to buy over the counter. I remember having to hide my bump when going up to buy canestan once as I'd heard the might not sell it to pg women (I'd previously had it prescribed so knew it was safe for me, just needed more)

notausernumber Sat 17-Sep-16 00:23:25

Yy as other people have said pharmacists risk their licences for stuff like this.

They get 'mystery shopped' and it's a serious business

bitter experience

Puzzledandpissedoff Sat 17-Sep-16 00:24:53

I know this sort of thing's frustrating, but please, please try to understand that pharmacists are only covering themselves against speculative lawsuits. I spent years recruiting these folk and every single one could tell endless tales of try-ons, blame shifting, baseless accusations and much more

Annoying when you know you're genuine, but they don't have crystal balls and unfortunately the chancers don't come with a label

frikadela01 Sat 17-Sep-16 00:40:57

It could have been handled better but ultimately pharmacists must protect their licence.
I think a lot of people dismiss pharmacists as people who just package up your prescription. Their knowledge of medications and drug interactions is far superior to the vast majority of doctors. my local pharmacist spotted an interaction between my meds when I was pregnant that could have potentially casued harm at the dose I was prescribed so discussed with my gp who prescribed a different drug at a lower dose.

user1474048157 Sat 17-Sep-16 00:52:36

So to clarify
The pharmacist who is concerned about your health enough to take the time and effort to confirm you are supposed to be on this medication rather than just selling it to you without checking first to make sure you aren't going to come to harm from it
... and you want to complain -about them?

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