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Old 05-25-2013, 06:16 PM   #1
anonymousdiser
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Invasive phone call from pharmacist

Ok so I have been going to the same pharmacy for 15 years. I am on depression and anxiety medicine. As is the case with depressed people, I have changed meds a good deal. I go back and forth between two different drugs, depending on my issues. This is not something I enjoy talking about (hence the anon username, sorry). I am also on an anxiety medicine. Last week when I picked it up, they asked me for my driver's license, which has never happened before.

Twice in the past year, one of the pharmacists (the same one) has called up and started interrogating me about my medicine change and how that was working out for me. He does not do it on any other drugs. He has not called my husband to ask him about any of his medicine changes. I do not like talking about my depression meds and I do not understand why it is any of his business. If he was that concerned about me he would check in any time I used a new drug. I have never been called by a pharmacist from this pharmacy ever before him.

I am really stressed out about another issue and so I was not as diplomatic as I should have been. I told him I did not appreciate invasive questions about my depression meds and that I did not see why it would involve anyone other than me and my doctor how I was responding to them. He started talking over me and that only upset me worse. That is disrespectful and bad customer service. He said they only call about drugs you will be on long-term. Again, I have been going here 15 years and he is the only one who has ever called me. And my husband is on long term drugs and no one has called him.

Finally the 'new' drug I am on is one I have used before and that is on my record. He said he didn't know why that came up on his 'report.'

Anyway, the whole call made me feel like I was being interrogated. In fact, what it felt like was he thought I was up to something (I am not, except a major depressive episode). What kind of 'something' can you get up to with generic anti-d's that cost $5??

Would this bother you? It is bad enough to have the stigma of depression and anxiety without this crap. I know many will think I am overreacting. But it's clear I am being singled out and with the emotional upheaval I am already feeling, it's just a bit much.

Thank you for listening.
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:27 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymousdiser View Post
Ok so I have been going to the same pharmacy for 15 years. I am on depression and anxiety medicine. As is the case with depressed people, I have changed meds a good deal. I go back and forth between two different drugs, depending on my issues. This is not something I enjoy talking about (hence the anon username, sorry). I am also on an anxiety medicine. Last week when I picked it up, they asked me for my driver's license, which has never happened before.

Twice in the past year, one of the pharmacists (the same one) has called up and started interrogating me about my medicine change and how that was working out for me. He does not do it on any other drugs. He has not called my husband to ask him about any of his medicine changes. I do not like talking about my depression meds and I do not understand why it is any of his business. If he was that concerned about me he would check in any time I used a new drug. I have never been called by a pharmacist from this pharmacy ever before him.

I am really stressed out about another issue and so I was not as diplomatic as I should have been. I told him I did not appreciate invasive questions about my depression meds and that I did not see why it would involve anyone other than me and my doctor how I was responding to them. He started talking over me and that only upset me worse. That is disrespectful and bad customer service. He said they only call about drugs you will be on long-term. Again, I have been going here 15 years and he is the only one who has ever called me. And my husband is on long term drugs and no one has called him.

Finally the 'new' drug I am on is one I have used before and that is on my record. He said he didn't know why that came up on his 'report.'

Anyway, the whole call made me feel like I was being interrogated. In fact, what it felt like was he thought I was up to something (I am not, except a major depressive episode). What kind of 'something' can you get up to with generic anti-d's that cost $5??

Would this bother you? It is bad enough to have the stigma of depression and anxiety without this crap. I know many will think I am overreacting. But it's clear I am being singled out and with the emotional upheaval I am already feeling, it's just a bit much.

Thank you for listening.

I don't think you're overreacting at all. My husband is on several meds for different issues - all long term and has changed a couple times due to side affects. We go to the same pharmacy for all our meds and have never had a pharmacist call our house. If you go to a national chain I would call the corporate office and ask if it's really their policy to call customers (they could just as easily talk to you when you picked up your prescriptions).

If it's a small family owned pharmacy you may just want to switch to another if he doesn't back off.

Good luck!
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:29 PM   #3
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Many drugs for depression have very long times that they remain in your body and very long times to get up to a therapeutic dose. Normally, someone going on or off depression meds or anxiety meds are closely monitored by their MD. It's a pharmacist's job to monitor what drugs a person is using and to flag any potential issues. Some people have more than one doctor and doctor A could prescribe a drug that will react with what doctor B already prescribed. If you are frequently changing meds that treat the same issue, that would be a red flag. It would be his job to question it.
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:33 PM   #4
anonymousdiser
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Abdmom, if it is his job how come no other pharmacist has ever called me before? And why don't they call my husband when he has switched? Also the one I am going off is like the only one you can taper for a week and have no side effects (I know because I have done it twice). Also I only have one doctor prescribing my meds, a psychiatrist. If it is a red flag, can't he just call my doctor? That seems like the more appropriate thing. This is like he thinks he knows better than my doctor.

Regardless, no matter what flag he thinks he sees he does not need to be talking over his customers while they are trying to say something. That is customer service 101.
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by PelletierBears View Post
I don't think you're overreacting at all. My husband is on several meds for different issues - all long term and has changed a couple times due to side affects. We go to the same pharmacy for all our meds and have never had a pharmacist call our house. If you go to a national chain I would call the corporate office and ask if it's really their policy to call customers (they could just as easily talk to you when you picked up your prescriptions).

If it's a small family owned pharmacy you may just want to switch to another if he doesn't back off.

Good luck!

Thank you, PelletierBears, I appreciate your input and your experience. I did not know of anyone else who has been called by a pharmacist and since you haven't experienced that either, it does make me suspicious. It is a national chain and I think I will do that.

What gets me is this pharmacy is perpetually understaffed. There is always a long line at the drive thru and a line at the counter, even at 10 pm and they are always frazzled and rushing. Yet he has time for this? The only reason we have not switched already is because they are so close to the house. But you know how pharmacies are, there is another major chain across the road now!
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:52 PM   #6
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Personally, I don't see it as an issue. But it's happened multiple times with out pharmacy. They know us by name and they are so wonderful.

But I switch meds constantly. Whether for my PCOS, my GI problems, or my depression and anxiety. I have always gotten follow up calls when my meds change. Or they bring it up while I'm there. They showed me how it is flagged in their system so they ask questions.

The questions usually pertain to things like medication side effects or medication interactions. Honestly, most of my doctors refer to a pharmacist for side effect or interaction questions. They just don't know everything about those meds. But pharmacists are supposed to. We have clinical pharmacists in the medical practice that half of my doctors are in and they are the ones my doctors consult with for medication questions and I have can consult with them as well.

Honestly, without knowing how the actually conversation went and without hating it for myself, it does not sound too suspicious to me. But maybe that's because I've dealt with it with our pharmacy and it doesn't seem that unusual to me.

But everyone's experience with this type of stuff is different.
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:52 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by abdmom View Post
Many drugs for depression have very long times that they remain in your body and very long times to get up to a therapeutic dose. Normally, someone going on or off depression meds or anxiety meds are closely monitored by their MD. It's a pharmacist's job to monitor what drugs a person is using and to flag any potential issues. Some people have more than one doctor and doctor A could prescribe a drug that will react with what doctor B already prescribed. If you are frequently changing meds that treat the same issue, that would be a red flag. It would be his job to question it.
I agree with this. OP, if it makes you feel better to check with the chain I would do so but with so many side effects of different drugs and the effects mixing prescriptions can have, I;d be glad that there was someone paying attention and concerned enough to ask. Just because your husband hasn't been called doesn't mean there aren't other customers the pharmacist follows up with as well.
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:52 PM   #8
anonymousdiser
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Adding to say, I would understand if this was a controlled substance or a pain med or a drug that gets abused like Adderall. But it's an anti-depressant. It seems like the last person you would harass would be someone on a depression med.
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:52 PM   #9
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I don't think the pharmacist is just calling you in his free time at work because he is being nosy . I would be impressed that my pharmacist was following up with my antidepressant or antianxiety medication results.
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:54 PM   #10
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I would be annoyed too. Our pharmacist has never called us about any of our medication. I am on anti anxiety and anti depressant medication and have never been called (nor asked at the pharmacy) about my medication. I would feel awkward and uncomfortable if they did. I prefer to discuss that with my doctor (if that!) and would certainly feel like my privacy was being invaded if your situation happened to me. Sure, it's their job to some extent but not to this extent!

And I agree about the stigma attached. Some people never take me seriously and don't count either as a proper illness. I have been told many times "I 'just' have anxiety".

Hope this gets better for you soon. If it continues, moving to a new pharmacy could be better!

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Old 05-25-2013, 06:56 PM   #11
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Adding to say, I would understand if this was a controlled substance or a pain med or a drug that gets abused like Adderall. But it's an anti-depressant. It seems like the last person you would harass would be someone on a depression med.
You mentioned that you have anxiety issues too, which means you are probably prescribed benzos, which are highly addictive and attractive to drug seekers/addicts.
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:57 PM   #12
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I'm sorry you are dealing with depression. I mean no harm in saying this, but do you think you might be overreacting about this pharmacist? Being rude is inexcusable but I think it is good that they are questioning things. That is one of the perks of going to the same pharmacy for everything so that they can watch what is going on.

I'm on Lexapro and had a pain med called in to a pharmacy in Orlando last year. Well, let me tell you, that pharmacist was ON POINT. He was NOT going to give me the med without speaking to my doctor first to make sure that he knew I was taking the Lexapro as well. Thankfully, it didn't take too long for the doctor to call back on a Saturday. It was a bit annoying but I'd rather a little inconvenience than be dead.
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:57 PM   #13
anonymousdiser
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Thanks you guys, I appreciate the different points you are bringing up. I admit a major depressive episode is not the best time for rational thought...perhaps. It might not have set me off so much if it hadn't felt like such an invasion of privacy because of the type of med. Like if he was saying, he I see you've switched from this nausea med to that one, how's it going? I would have been happy to discuss that. It's they medicine I am sensitive about.

ALSO the way he talked over me and raised his voice when I was talking. That still makes me steam.

Regardless, I will be switching pharmacies because I give them too much money every year to have the pharmacist be rude to me on the phone. Next!

Thanks, DISers. I am starting to feel less persecuted now. Ha.
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:59 PM   #14
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You mentioned that you have anxiety issues too, which means you are probably prescribed benzos, which are highly addictive and attractive to drug seekers/addicts.
That's what I was thinking as well. And you can have withdrawal symptoms when going on anti depressants if you've been on them long enough. I've had it happen. That's why you are not supposed to go off cold turkey.

When I get a prescription for a limited amount of Ativan, the prescription gets flagged. Especially since its multiple doctors who prescribe it. I will get the occasional prescription of 2 Ativan for an MRI or for 6 Ativan for flying. It always gets flagged.
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:01 PM   #15
anonymousdiser
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I'm sorry you are dealing with depression. I mean no harm in saying this, but do you think you might be overreacting about this pharmacist? Being rude is inexcusable but I think it is good that they are questioning things. That is one of the perks of going to the same pharmacy for everything so that they can watch what is going on.

I'm on Lexapro and had a pain med called in to a pharmacy in Orlando last year. Well, let me tell you, that pharmacist was ON POINT. He was NOT going to give me the med without speaking to my doctor first to make sure that he knew I was taking the Lexapro as well. Thankfully, it didn't take too long for the doctor to call back on a Saturday. It was a bit annoying but I'd rather a little inconvenience than be dead.
PoohGirl, that is a good pharmacist and totally understandable when dealing with a pain med + Lexapro. If I were getting these drugs from different psychiatrists I would agree that this situation is like the one you are describing. But it's the same doctor and the question wasn't about interactions with my other stuff and I have been on both these meds before, for many months, each.

Yes, it is possible I am overreacting! But not to the rudeness, OMG.
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