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I've noticed quite a few of the questions which people raise on this site (e.g. recent ones about Fosamax and Seretide/Ventolin) could perhaps better be raised with a pharmacist. Just wondering why other people don't use their local pharmacy more for advice? Most towns have one which is open late/on Sun/Bank Holiday. I find them extremely helpful & always willing to offer telephone advice - certainly much better than phoning NHS Direct, or indeed relying on other members here (no offence but true)! Pharmacists after all know much more about drugs than most doctors.

Also, recent research reported last year showed that Actonel was about twice as effective as Fosamax at preventing bone loss, so I'm wondering why so many people are still on Fosamax anyway?

3 Replies

Hi Polly,

as you say, pharmacists do know a lot about drugs,(although in the context of the complicated illnesses that some of the folk have on here, the doctors are more knowledgeable - it is not only the drug but the disease process that needs to be understood for accurate advice to be given) however a lot of the folk on here have practical experience of taking the common (and not so common) asthma drugs, and often it is the practical pointers that people are looking for. Also many of us struggle to get out easily so an online resource is much easier than the traipse to the pharmacist.

I am interested to see your comment on actinel - have you got a link to the article?



Hiya - here is a link to that article I mentioned


The research was funded by an organisation funded by Proctor & Gamble, which makes Actonel, so it's hard to know just how reliable their stats are, but twas ever thus with drug companies - someone has to fund the research after all

I find it very hard remember my weekly Actonel so will be great when this new once-a-year drug becomes available. Doesn't sound as though it'll be too long.

Understand your point about drs & the whole disease process Sarah, I just meant that in some instances eg the patient info leaflet being in spanish, or advice about drug interactions etc, a pharmacist would be my first port of call, and usually you can get telephone advice quite easily. My consultant at RBS cheerfully admits that his pharmacist daughter knows a great deal more about drugs than he does! and I think they are a valuable (and probably under-used) resource.


I do use my pharmacist a lot and although our town has several chemists I have found one that is really helpful and stick with them for everything. I recently rang about a reaction to something new I was trying and they rang around and even the company who made it to try and find out if it definately was the new meds. My chemist shop and pharmacist are worth their weight in gold.


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