A Journey with Love and Laughter

Read about our family as we journey through life as a family, with siblings, school and spina bifida, and lots of fun and laughter along the way!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The pharmacy rant - again

I guess I only have myself to blame, because I didn't change pharmacies after my initial pharmacy rant (see here). But I was too lazy to change pharmacies and thought I'd give them another chance -

We've just started ditropan for Nickolas' bladder. This is not a medication I've been looking forward to - as I've described in a previous post (here). So I've been researching it.
Not only is it not considered safe for children under 5 (or 6 depending where you are reading) but that doesn't keep urologists from prescribing it. It is very very common for infants with spina bifida to be prescribed it - way before they turn 6. Now not considered safe seems to be drug-speak for we haven't tested it on infants and children under 6 so we have to cover our buts. Well it seems that enough infants with spina bifida have been on it - they should get their acts together and either say yes it is safe, or no it is not. Not just hide behind a 'we haven't tested it, so we can't say' because it is being tested - on our kids!!!
OK that was so not the pharmacy rant I started to write about!

So anyways - aren't pharmacists supposed to protect kids from being prescribed a medication they are contraindicated for? Or is that asking too much - isn't that what they do?! But we are still taking it, even if he is in this age group. So my problem with my pharmacy - At Ritson and Taunton - is that they don't know what they are talking about!
Seriously. I know more about this medication than the pharmacists who's job it is to know about this medication. And I learned about it by spending a bit of time online and reading the label of the drug! So first of all the pharmacists read the prescription wrong. It was written 1.5mL tid - they wrote it as 2.5 mL tid (tid = three times a day). OK doctors scribble, I'm not too happy about it - but I can (kinda) see where the mistake can be made (as a fellow medical professional - not as a mother). Actually you know what, I cannot see where they are coming from. They are accountable for writing the wrong prescription - messy writing is not an excuse.

They asked if I wanted to talk to the pharmacist because I haven't had this medication before. Sure, why not. So I asked about side effects - the first thing he said was dizziness, so if Nickolas was walking - nope. Then he went on and on about being dry during the night with bed wetting - still nope.
He said also to watch for dry mouth and dry eyes. OK good to know. I asked about constipation - oh yes, constipation could be a side effect - because the bladder and bowels are so close and relaxing the bladder could relax the bowels. OK, gotcha - even though I already knew this.
Then I asked about over heating. He didn't know what I meant, he asked me if I meant dehydration. Well, not really, but sure I guess over-heating like dehydration. No, dehydration is not a side effect. Do not worry about over heating.

I know from talking with other moms who's kids are on ditropan that over heating is big. And if you look up ditropan at this link, it has a whole section on What is the most important information I should know about Ditropan?

Ditropan can cause heat prostration (fever and heat stroke due to decreased sweating) in high temperatures. If you live in a hot climate or will be exposed to high temperatures, take appropriate precautions.

Now I guess Canada may not be considered a hot climate. But when we've had 30 - 40 degree (Celsius) weather for the last month - I think we can qualify. So how come my pharmacist - the one who is supposed  to know about the medications they give out - it's his job! did not know the most important this I should know about Ditropan. And made me kinda think I didn't know what I was talking about!

I am extremely unhappy about this. I feel a letter coming on!!! Right after I call around the different pharmacy's.


  1. Wow!!! Thanks for sharing this experience... I am almost speechless. We tried to give Madilyn ditropan and she suffered from extreme heat issues. When her temp hit 104 within 30 mins of taking it that was it... What are they thinking?
    Good luck!

  2. oh boy...there is no excuse for that :(
    when you're already overwhelmed doing your own research, it would be nice when the professionals get it right.
    Zachary has tears again, but when he first started he didn't have any. (it's been just over 6 weeks)

  3. Amanda,

    YES, you should be mad! OMG, had you given him 2.5cc 3x a day I can only imagine how negatively he would have acted. Seeing Annabelle this week on 2cc was HORRIBLE! I do not know where my happy girl went - my heart is literally breaking about what this shitty medicine is doing to my baby. Her body temp has been hovering around 103 degrees! I can bring it down to 101 with a cool bath. This week has been so hard now that we are on Ditropan :-( I pray your experience is better. Keep us posted.