British Lung Foundation
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Pharmacist's interview

On collecting my prescription for Azithromycin yesterday from Boots, I was asked if I had time for a quick word with the pharmacist. Turns out it's because of the above antibiotic and possible resistance. I explained that it was prescribed by my Consultant year-round and I have proved I need it because of colonised pseudomonas resulting from my Bronchiectasis. I also know if there's a problem in the future, I can have IV antibiotics which have worked very well in the past. She also asked about supplements and I said I take turmeric, vitamin D, selenium, glucosamine sulphate and magnesium. She approved and was happy with my replies. Never had this before - is it something new?

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I think that's great Claudine - it's a medicines use review which pharmacists regularly offer.

Also pharmacists are being encouraged by the dept of health to be more proactive - and us to use their expertise more - and this kind of check is important. (Just so long as they are not being used to cut down on GP services.)

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Must admit my GP wasn't keen on me taking them year-round but I think I'm fairly good at managing it but it is exhausting. Last infection in June was after a flight back from Scotland (thank goodness it wasn't on arrival!). I'm pretty strict about winter events, won't take a bus or train, won't go to cinema or theatre etc. etc. Even my family are lepers if they get colds - can't take the risk. It can be restricting but I make up for it in the Spring and Summer!

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Hi

I have a annual review with my pharmacy.

You can check inhaler techniques.

Plus general chat they are quite informative.

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Yes, it's probably easier to see them re a query than the doctor. That has become pretty hopeless lately.

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Interesting. I am also on Azithromycin which I have been on for a few years. Wondering if its effect has worn off because I now get mild chest infections .

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I take quite a cocktail of tablets and welcome any advice from a pharmacist.

In recent years several over the counter medicines have been discovered to conflict with some prescribed drugs and I suspect pharmacists are more up to date on this subject than G.Ps

Bill

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I also have a regular consultation with our chemist who goes thru medication with me, she spends a lot of time doing this, I find it very helpful.

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Hi Claudine

I took Azithromycin for a week or two about a year, or more, ago. Low dose daily. However, I stopped in the second week as it was causing me a lot of wind, which was accompanied by lose stools, that were soiling my underwear - horrid. I just felt I couldn't tolerate wearing a thick pad and having to change it regularly and clean myself two or three times a day - sometimes more... So I just stopped. I now only take antibiotics if I definitely need them. When I have finished a course, I ensure that I take a high dose (4 billion live bacteria per capsule, minimum) of probiotics to re-populate my gut with the good bacteria that the antibiotics have destroyed. Hope that helps.

Best wishes always

swimmer

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I completely forgot that I take 3billion dose of Acidophilus every day (I keep it in my cereal packet!). I don't seem to have quite such a dramatic reaction as you but I put my slightly dodgy bloated gut down to usual digestion problems with Bronchiectasis, I must admit. Perhaps I ought to query that sometime. I would dearly love to put on weight as my BMI is apparently 18.5 and I certainly can't tolerate large meals. Interesting to swap this info isn't it? I do have an emergency pack of Ciprofloxacin for flare-ups but that really does make me feel under the weather. Thanks for the info.

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If you ever get a glimpse of your prescription there's usually a review date on the bottom. P

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My gp does regular medication reviews and my pharmacist has being doing these interviews for quite a few years now. But as my medical needs are so complicated I often am the one doing the informing!!!!

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I can believe that! My GP doesn't seem to get involved in such things - it all seems to be left to a nurse. I know there are different grades of nurse these days but I still don't feel it's the same. She still puts that COPD label on me which is quite common in GP surgeries and I object to that.

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I think azithromycin must be in short supply. For the past two months boots have been unable to fulfill my prescription which is upsetting as I think they have improved my emphysema and bronchestasis symptoms. Managed to get them at other chemists but bit worried about next time. Maybe it's just Lincolnshire I was told last week that we do not have a pulmonary consultant now as he has moved on so my delayed appointment will be with a team member. I was referred last June for rehabilitation and still waiting. Thank goodness for breathing exercises on you tube. Have a good weekend.

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That's interesting because I am only ever given one month's supply at a time. Last month it was from a different supplier whose blister packs contained only four, instead of the previous six. The pharmacist did not notice this and I had to return for another box to have enough for a month. (3x a week) This month it was back to normal supplier. It seems they are always hunting for cheaper suppliers but it can be confusing for the patient I'm sure. Have a good weekend yourself before winter returns next week I gather!

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