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LETTERS

Pharmacists have the right medicine

December 07, 2009

Your Nov. 30 package of stories on pharmacists ["RX: Take With Advice"] was very informative, but you and the pharmacists omitted two very important suggestions for readers:

Carry a printed list of all your prescription and non-prescription drugs in your wallet or purse. Include name of drug and your dosage and frequency. I also have the list (mine and my wife's) as a memo on my BlackBerry.

When you get a new prescription, read the literature that the pharmacy prints out and gives you.

Arnold Daitch

Northridge

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My grandfather was a pharmacist who used to compound some of his own medicines. My mother was a clinical pharmacist much like the articles describe, just superb at her job. They taught me to ask questions, because the pharmacist knows better than anyone.

Josh Thomas

Kentland, Ind.

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The comments made in the article about generic drugs are generally true. However, a generic version of a brand-name drug that contains the same amount of active ingredient does not necessarily make it pharmacologically equivalent to the brand-name product.

You may recall some time ago the flurry caused by erratic effect of some time-released psychotherapeutic products. It seems that the release schedule of the active drug in the generic versions was not the same or as predictable as the brand names', causing considerable anxiety among some patients.

There is stuff in most drug dosage forms other than the therapeutic agent, especially in tablets and capsules, and, in particular, time-released versions. There are binders, exploders, flavoring agents and coatings, all of which may contribute to the pharmacological effect. Changing those ancillary ingredients, or their ratio or quality, can have pronounced and unpredictable results.

Although the vast majority of generics are therapeutically equivalent to brand names, it is not an absolute given. Patients and providers should be cognizant of this.

Hal Sriro, graduate pharmacist, retired

Santa Monica

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