I shall not tell a lie

Here are 8 patient fibs pharmacists hate to hear

Writing in US magazine Pharmacy Times pharmacist Alex Barker has listed his eight pet hates among the not exactly correct information patients will offer.   

What do you think of his list? Let us know if you agree, or tell us other common patient fibs you think we should mention. Comment below or email us 

1. Fib: “I always take my medications as prescribed.”
Reality: Thirty-eight percent of survey respondents lied about following their physician’s orders. The patient who says he never misses a dose may have forgotten to take his medication for an entire week. He may remember to take it for a day or 2, forget for 5 more days, remember the next week, and then forget again. 

2. Fib: “I rarely drink.”
Reality: Sixteen percent of survey respondents lied about how much or how often they consume alcohol. Twenty-four percent of men reported lying about alcohol use, compared with 15% of women. Your patients’ happy hour may last from 4 PM until last man standing every single night, or at least every weekend. Little do they know that if they take their Flagyl with alcohol, they’ll regret it when they’re blowing chunks. Or, if they combine alcohol with other sleep-inducing medications, they could end up killing themselves if they try to drive.
3. Fib: “I’m picking this up for my grandpa.”
Reality: This patient is probably the person picking up the prescription, and the Viagra is most likely for him. No worries, though, because the pharmacist couldn’t care less. Besides, there’s nothing to be ashamed of and the pharmacist is a professional who’s capable of acting accordingly.

4. Fib: “Do you have any Sudafed? My girlfriend is sick.”
Reality: This patient is probably just looking for something to cook up in his basement lab.

5. Fib: “I lost my pain pills.”
Reality: “As needed” has probably turned into “all the time” for this patient. Or, perhaps the patient sells pills for extra cash or has a serious addition. There are occasions when a medication loss happens, but it shouldn’t be happening every month on the same day.

6. Fib: “I don’t do other drugs.”
Reality: Twelve percent of survey respondents reported lying about recreational drug use. This patient probably smokes marijuana with his friends now and then but doesn’t think that’s anything to get worked up over.
7. Fib: “I don’t eat junk food.”
Reality: Thirty-two percent of survey respondents reported lying about their diet and exercise habits. You may see a box of donuts in this patient’s cart, but he swears they’re “for the kids.”
8. Fib: “I don’t take any other medicines.”
Reality: Seven percent of survey respondents reported lying about taking herbs, supplements, and other therapies. This patient may neglect to mention taking ginseng to stave off Alzheimer’s, vitamin C supplements to get rid of a cold, and Advil to treat the occasional headache or injury.

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