(Dear English readers, please scroll down to find the ‘click’ for English translation)
我看得心惊，真想问他 – 你有高血压吗？ 有高血压的话，最好不要用这个。
真想告诉他 – 这个会有头晕的副作用，用时，最好不要开车。等等….
没办法，我这个着凉了的澳洲药剂师还有一病 – 职业病。
Last weekend, Torontonians just experienced one of the hottest autumn days for the recent years. Unexpectedly, two to three days later, the temperature dropped drastically to only 12-14 Celsius and accompanied with rains and strong winds. Although this sort of weather considered normal for the autumn season, it just changed too quickly that my body could not cope too well and caught a cold. I think, it is possibly started from the day I went to French class during the rain and strong wind. Anyway, nothing major but still quite annoyed and frustrated by the headache and blocked nose. I have to remind myself that I have to be more patient and understanding with patients with cold in pharmacy next time.
Talking about pharmacy, I went to buy some lozenges that help to relieve blocked nose and cough in pharmacy here. Lozenges section is in the cough and cold section. In Canada, cough and cold medicines are not as tightly regulated compared to Australia. They can be purchased without the supervision or help from pharmacist and pharmacy assistant. They are also on display on easily accessible shelves.
When I was choosing my lozenges, I saw a few helpless looking patients. They looked at the shelves full of various medicines and did not know which one to get. They simply picked up one and walked away to the payment counter. I almost wanted to stop them and ask : ‘do you have high blood pressure ? If you have, it is not a good idea to take this medicine.’ or to tell them that ‘ this medicine can cause drowsiness, please don’t drive while you are using it’.
In Australia, most cough and cold medicines purchases have to be supervised and assisted directly or indirectly by a pharmacist or a pharmacy assistant who have been trained. This is to ensure safe use of medicine and appropriate counseling is provided when necessary. I have had many patients who sometimes are quite impatient with our many questions before the purchases. I understand them because for them, common cold is just a minor ailment and they simply want something quick to get relief and can’t be bothered to answer so many questions. Although most of them are safe for most people, but some are not and some cold medicine still have their side effects that should be aware of. Careful and caution are better than sorry. Nonetheless, most patients in Australia understand this and are quite co-operative .
Like here in Canada, patients can buy any cough and cold medicine as they like. The transactions are quick and easy but it just worries me a lot…..possibly it is just me, who happened to be a pharmacist in Australia…..