Stupidest Pharmacy Stories

If you’ve ever worked in retail pharmacy, I KNOW you have stupid patient stories. I want to hear them.

You show me yours, I’ll show you mine…

pinworm, caverject, boogers, vaginal plungers, “which hole?!” strawberry douche, and more…

Share! :eek:

Well, let’s get the classic one out of the way right off the bat:

“Uh, you were supposed to unwrap the suppository first.”

eh. try, “you mean i was supposed to put the clortrimazole suppositiory in THAT hole?!”

A classic from “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask” – the lady who complained when her vaginal infection didn’t clear up, and after eating that damn tube of foam every day!

you forgot, “that suppository tasted funny & didn’t do a damn thing!” and my dad (he’s a pharm, i was a tech) actually got “that would’ve done more good if i put it up my ass!” “well, yeah.” (pre-trainspotting)

Oh, you’re looking for stories about stupid customers. I’ve got one about stupid pharmacists. I went to the pharmacy looking for powdered lysine to give to my cat (she has herpes). Sorry, just regular lysine in pill form, nothing in a powder. I go back to the vet for my cat’s check-up next week, and tell the vet I’m having trouble finding powdered lysine. She tells me to just buy the pills and crush them with a pill crusher. Pill crusher? Oh sure, they should be available at any pharmacy!

Note to pharmacists/ technicians: next time a customer asks for something in powder form that you only have as a pill, try suggesting the pill crushers you have in the next aisle rather than telling him you don’t have it.

sorry, but pills have fillers, and most of us assume that the customer wants the pure powdered form- not the active ingredient plus random junk.

My stupid pharmacist story: I lived in a very small town for three years. There was only one pharmacist. I soon learned why my coworkers and friends would drive an hour to the next town to get their prescriptions filled or wait for the medical clinic to get their meds in, though it took at least a day extra.

I dropped off my prescriptions with the pharmacist (a small, troll-like woman), bought a magazine and stood around reading it, waiting for her to fill them.

“Ms. phouka!” she yelled, “you sure you need these birth control pills?”

There were five other people in the store. I was a teacher at the local school. I’m really NOT interested in having my business announced to the rest of the store. Never went back. I just drove the fifty miles to the next closest pharmacy.

I once was in a mall, eating something in the food court… when I began feeling, well, really not so hot. The roof of my mouth started itching. I started to have difficulty breathing. Shitpissdamn, thought I, allergic reaction! Ack! Something I had must have contained traces of peanuts… or pumpkin (yes, pumkin)

No Epipen. So I quickly walked into the Pharmacy (literally 10 feet away from where I was sitting) and went up to the counter, bypassing the line, and wheezed at the pharmacist there. He took one look at me and said, “anaphylaxis?” I nodded. He ran back, grabbed an epipen and let me jab myself in the thigh, then called for a hand to get me to the urgent care clinic across the street.

… Nice pharmacist.

The idiot with two kids who was waiting at the front of the line piped up, “HEY! That bitch cut us off! We were here first, and I have two kids who are tired and would like to go home.” The pharmacist blinked at her… then she continued, “The POLITE thing to do would have been to have told her to just wait for us to be done, it’s not like she’s gonna die or something.”

I just busted out laughing at that point (a helpful thing, actually - breathing in is doable, it’s breathing out that sucks…)

My stupid pharmacy has two drive-thru lanes – one where you pull up to the window and one where you pull up to a pneumatic tube thing like at the bank drive-thru. Most people seem to use the window and I rarely see people in the second lane. One day, when pulling up to pick up a prescription, I see they had added a sign that said “Both Lanes Open”, and the line at the window was considerably longer than the line at the tube, so I pulled into the tube lane. When I finally got to the front of the line the pharmacist says “Are you dropping off a prescription?” I said “No, I’m picking one up.” She said, “Oh, this lane is just for drop-offs. You have to get in the other lane to pick up.” So I had to pull out, turn around, and get back in the other lane, which of course was now even longer.

Here’s a suggestion: maybe you should change your sign from “Both Lanes Open” to “Drop Off Only” if you can’t actually use both lanes for all transactions. :mad:

I was a tech for three summers.

My favorite? The woman on 15 different prescriptions who would routinely call up and ask for refills by saying, “could I have some more of the blue pill I take at 2 in the afternoon?”

Wha? So I’d have to go through all of her prescriptions, looking for blue pills (none of them had time restrictions, AFAIK).

We also had a woman who would just take as much of a Prozac capsule as she thought she needed for the day. :smack:

Are you saying that powders typically don’t have fillers? I thought they did, to make the measuring more accurate.

I’ve told this story before, probably in MPSIMS. I suspect this thread will move there soon, too.

Anyway, back when I was a Navy Corpsman, I would occasionally get a patient with oral thrush. That’s a yeast infection, just like the yeast infection you treat with vaginal suppositories, except in the mouth. At the time, there were two treatments for oral thrush. One involved going off the ship to the hospital for specialized drugs, as the commonly available pill of today wasn’t commonly available to us. The other treatment was to dissolve a ‘pill’ in your mouth once a day for seven days, without swallowing.

We didn’t tell the patient that the ‘pill’ they had to dissolve in their mouth was really a vaginal suppository. We also didn’t offer the ‘go to the hospital’ option to our patients unless they wouldn’t complete the other treatment. Virtually all the women who were exposed to this treatment just flatly refused as soon as they saw the ‘pill’. We were careful not to let the men know just what the ‘pill’ was, but occasionally they would find out.

I think maybe I’ve hit upon a new ‘Fear Factor’ episode premise.

I’ve never actually used a suppository (either in the mouth or nether regions), but I don’t see what’s so gross about this. Doesn’t it come out of the packaging totally sterile, like all medicines? It’s never actually been in a vagina.

You’re right, to a degree. Not much thought is given to taste when you’re manufacturing a suppository.

Mainly though, it’s the yuck factor that got them.

Hey, we need a yuck smiley! It would really come in handy for pimple threads, too.

This particular Lysine powder has no fillers, FWIW

I love when people call me up swearing saying “I just tried to get my Levitra filled and the pharmacist told me I have no insurance!”

I say “Sir, there are no rejected claims on your account, let alone paid ones, your pharmacy did not submit a claim to us.”

“Yes he did! I watched him do it!”

“Sir, we handle your prescription benefits and we have no indication that a claim was even run under your account. Did you present your prescription card?”

“You mean my new one? No. It’s on my kitchen counter.”

“This is how to get your Levitra (insert instructions), please try not to procreate.”
Granted the guy’s at least mildly retarded, but I really hate when RPh’s try running a claim once (to the wrong carrier) then tell the patient that their insurance has been canceled.

The fact that most RPh’s are cool and intelligent people, really makes the bad apples stick out. Too bad.

Some tablets can indeed be crushed and taken as a powder. Some can’t. Many tablets are designed to dissolve in a certain way, and so should not be crushed or split. It depends on the individual type of tablet and type of medication.

A good “rule of thumb” is that if the tablet is scored at the center, then it is acceptable to split it and take half. But that’s not gospel, and that definitely does not mean that you can crush it. The only way to find out is to ask the doctor or pharmacist.

While the pharmacist may well have been aware that the lysine tablet in the OP could have been crushed and taken as a powder, the pharmacist doesn’t really know the particulars of the prescription, what it’s for, etc. In the absence of specific instructions from the prescribing doctor, he’s going to assume that the prescription is supposed to be taken as prescribed.

While the pharmacist has great expertise on drugs and the ways in which they could be administered, he’s not a doctor, and he’s not allowed to prescribe medication, either by type of medication or by method of taking it. In some cases, he may feel comfortable suggesting crushing a tablet to a patient, knowing that that’s always acceptable for the particular kind of medication. But if he’s not sure of that, or if the patient is not a human, then he’s sure a shootin’ not going to deviate from the prescription as written. (And even if the medication in the OP was an over-the-counter drug, that doesn’t change the basic idea.)

Both tablets and powders commonly have fillers, binders, free-flow agents, or what have you. It all depends on the type of medication. A given medication in a powder form might have different stuff in it than that medication in a capsule, tablet, suppository, injection, etc.

My bad pharmacist story: my doctor was trying to figure out how to decrease my cramps, which she thought might be due to endometriosis. I was taking the birth control pill continuously, sans placebo week, to see if it would help. My insurance company did not grok this and was giving me a hard time. I told the pharmacist I needed my pills soon or I’d run out, and that would be a problem. She gave me this nasty, nose-wrinkly look and said, “Too bad. You’re just going to have to find a way to live without them, aren’t you?”


Clearly she was making some big assumptions about why I needed them so badly, because at that point, I couldn’t do without them-- the pills were prescribed by my doctor to treat a medical problem, not to enable me to have wanton sex with thousands of people. Pharmacists like her are what this law is for.

Did you or the pharmacist explain that yes, you WERE in danger of dying then?