Does Brexit have a hand in my Pharmacy chaos…………?

Last week I picked up my monthly prescription of tablets in order to fill my pill box. It wasn’t until I got home that I realised they’d given me a different brand than usual so colours, shapes and packaging had all changed……..

From my frustrated tweet, which said how I really wan’t sure whether I’d put the right pills in the right boxes….. came so much conversation, Debate, concern and advice……I LOVE twitter for this very reason.

Many have asked why don’t you let the pharmacists fill a blister pack for you. Well this is the first time it’s happened since I changed Gps….my last Gp suggested I come off Donezepil because it was of no use……I asked him:

So if it was you and Donezepil was the only drug available, would you come off it…….?”

He didn’t respond so I changed Gps and now have a lovely one willing to listen, willing to learn, willing to exchange knowledge…….just how a Gp should be, but only since reading my book has she changed. She was always kind, but never listened as much as now – bonus😊

Anyway when I asked the previous pharmacy about packing them for me they said they couldn’t put Donezepil to be taken in the morning as the information they have says to take it at night…….But if I take it at night it makes me have weird dreams so I take it in the morning – no more weird dreams but it means chemists won’t help me, or the last one I encountered said it wasn’t possible. I now realise, from Twitter, that it might be possible for them to help me ……….

So now I have a different chemist I never thought to check whether what the last one said was true……..until Twitter put me right…….

The conversation on Twitter lasted right up until the following day with various people tweeting their thoughts. It also provided lots of discussion with people highlighting their issues.

One person said how the print was so tiny it was difficult to read. This could be solved by the key words being in large print e.g. 2 at night maybe? Yes, I realise the printing machine probably can’t do this but maybe it could be handwritten in a space? But then someone on Twitter said,

I find it useful to go into camera on my phone and zoom in to read small print”

What a good solution⭐️

Others said how a busy chemist is unlikely to have the time to put the effort into caring about shape or colour as they’re under so much pressure. Others have said how their local chemist was so helpful and had time to listen to their needs……Crikey, I’d never even thought of a post code lottery in chemists…….

One of my dear friends said on Twitter than he’s now succumbed to the chemist providing his tablets ready packed, but:

“I now have to trust them to get it right, so it means I am far less aware of what I am taking.”

So is that right too? I know that if I allowed the chemist to pack them for me and they arrived looking different, then I wouldn’t trust they hadn’t made a mistake. How would I know? After all there’s humans involved in the process and humans make mistakes. So I’d feel continually anxious when I looked at my pill box. I have also always taken a high dose Vitamin B supplement so that wouldn’t go in the blister pack, and would need to be remembered separately.

If I went on another clinical trial, those tablets wouldn’t go into the blister pack – another one to remember separately.

Others said how it’s the changing shape and colour that confuses. Here’s mine this month that changed colour

And the bottom ones changed shape….

Maybe those who request through their Gp could have a note on file to say use the same brand maybe?

Some said how the pharmacist has to tell you when the colour changes or they’re a different shape…..well mine might have told me but the minute I walk out I’ll have forgotten that he said it ……🙄

Some packs of tablets are see through and others you can’t see what tablet is in the blister

Why can’t they all be see through so you can see what’s in it? I suppose pharmacists must have a way of knowing🤔 but it would make it easier if there was consistency in packaging.

Also this time I was given a bottle of tablets instead of a pack

More confusion all in the same month……no wonder I didn’t know if I’d put the right tablets in the right slots!

Twitter, of course, provided lots of advice including this local link for me from an admiral nurse

https://communitypharmacyhumber.org/services-by-area/east-riding-of-yorkshire/el23-medicines-management-er/

Another more concerning Tweet was about Brexit 🤢…….their chemist told them that:

Brexit stockpiling has made it hard to get someone medication in store leading to capsules changing colour, other pills changing size as they try and get their hands on anything they can…….so this may be a small problem that’s about to get much larger……’

So the ever present Brexit is now going to compound the medication confusion as well as everything else🙈😳🤯🔫

For anyone who needs it, could a note go on their file to say, ‘needs consistency of medication appearance’ or ‘needs large print’ or whatever?

It felt like another case of we don’t know what we don’t know until kind people on Twitter Fill in the gaps……

We try to remain independent, to cope on our own. At every avenue I feel like there’s a battle that has to be fought……why? I know others have it so much worse but when a chink of your independence seems to be ebbing away you have a tendency to feel a tad sorry for yourself. I guess that’s how I’m feeling now……

About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. I may not have much of a short term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of research into Alzheimer's. It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we've been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we sill have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day to day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

18 thoughts on “Does Brexit have a hand in my Pharmacy chaos…………?

  1. This has to be maddening for anyone who takes medication —there should be some instruction given when different shapes/colors are introduced but I imagine that just like in everything else there are good chemists who stay on top of things and help their patients and then there are the rest who are just filling scripts. I am glad you have the support on Twitter and some helpful suggestions to get you through this. I am so sorry this happened to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My mum (90 in April) has her medication in a blister pack from her surgery but the days read downwards Monday to Sunday and they don’t deliver it until Tuesday lunchtime which means she doesn’t start taking them from the day at the top of the pack. Add to that the fact that they often forget to write the start date on the front and confusion reigns on a weekly basis. One week the start date on the front was the day before they delivered the pack! And then they wonder why she doesn’t always take her tablets.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Wendy,
    You are allowed to feel sorry for yourself! It does happen, but knowing you (only through your book and blog) you will soon feel better. You’re so optimistic!
    I’m physically a wreck, and my tablets are forever changing shape and colour! It drives me mad, because then I have to read all the packs all over again!!! My pharmacist says it’s whatever is the cheapest!!!!
    Thank you for your wonderful blog. It is so helpful. I have three friends with Alzheimer’s and you’ve really helped me in the way I interact with them. I just treat them the way I always have, and don’t take it personally when they don’t remember things. You’ve helped so much! Thank you again.
    Jeannie

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Dear Wendy. Whats a mess, and very difficult with your pills. Hope there is a solution soon. In the Netherlands they fear a shortagean change of medicins too because of Brexit.
    Yesterday i finished your book, i love it learned much from it. I think your great. Blessings from the Netherlands.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Not Brexit. I have that problem in the Texas a lot. The pharmacy tries to get the best price and the pills all come from different pharmacies. The worst thing is to drop a pill and then find it later. Then you have to play detective to find out what it is!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey there! As a pharmacist, I can state that we don’t have any control of the colours and the shapes of the medicine that is delivered to us, as they come from the warehouse directly to us. Maybe before you leave the pharmacy ask if the pharmacist can go through what each medicine looks like for your own piece of mind so you’re aware of what you’re taking?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Normally there are descriptions of the tablet by the name of the medication. So if that isn’t done or if you need it more detailed you can go over that with the pharmacist and get them to write a note on your records so every time your medication is done up detailed descriptions of the medications are also provided so you know where you stand 😊

        Liked by 1 person

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