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Monday, November 12, 2007

Tablet Identification

You know what is coming down the phone line........

"I found this pill in my daughter's backpack and I want to know what it is."

Your child is experiencing the wonderful world of chemistry by trying out every little tablet she can get her hands on. I love these calls. I can't say I feel the tiniest bit of remorse for the child. I know there will be groundings, lectures, beatings, etc. I like tears and torture. It puts a spring in my step like nothing else.

This particular call was funny because the tablet was Atenolol 50mg. That dizziness and floaty feeling she gets isn't a "high" it is actually from the "low" her blood pressure hits from it. I told her mom it was not a controlled substance, not addictive, etc. but it was dangerous in that low blood pressure can lead to organ failure, coma, death, i.e. the not so fun stuff because she had normal blood pressure and it is a prescription drug so she shouldn't have it anyway. Mom was pissed. Hahahahaha, I want to hear the fallout from that!

Another concerned parent could not wake her son up and he had some tablets that turned out to be Methadone 10mg. I told her to call 911 because he may never wake up from that one. She did and called back the next evening to thank me for saving the life of her ungrateful little bastard of a son who racked up an expensive hospital bill of gastric lavage, IV's, and critical care.

Kids are stupid when it comes to drugs. They think it is "cool" or "fun" but many times they introduce substances to their body that are lethal. Look at the news. There is always an overdose story of a teenager who didn't think before taking pills. They don't give a single thought to what anguish they can cause a concerned parent or family when the shit goes wrong or what damage they can do to themselves. I like vegetables but I don't want to live like one. Want to get high?.........

Many of the calls I field are "Is this Oxycontin/Valium/Percocet/Tylox/oxycodone/equally strong substance to fuck your shit up/etc.?" For those callers I realize you want to rocket off into oblivion and you don't want to get ripped off by some shady dealer. I can respect that you want to know you are getting all the bang for your buck. There is a recession looming for all of us, even low paid or jobless junkies. By the way, if you haven't been on any of those substances before I may never hear from you again....might not be a bad thing for the rest of society but don't you think there is a relative who dearly misses you? Maybe a puppy or something? I'm just saying, don't you have anything left to live for?

On a sad note, my tablet identification software does not list any of the designer tablets or ecstasy tablet markings. I have no idea what is in that tablet... I can't help you with that one. Until the government decides to let someone market them there will be no standard markings or monikers. It also may not be a good idea to "roll" with the whole person to person contact leading to potentially deadly MRSA infections. I know you "love" everyone and want every millimeter of your body touched or licked and every orifice filled but it may turn out to be a bad time. Vaporub and face masks are in aisle 11, blow-pops are in aisle 5, have a nice night......

Other fun calls involve the police. Bag a perp, take him/her for booking, find a few tablets in his/her pockets/purse, call the pharmacy. Do we have an illegal substance? Can I add additional charges to the bookee? Awesome! Oh, by the way, I think that guy/girl may have called earlier to see what those were he/she was buying from his/her dealer......might want to follow up on that.....

Listen to D.A.R.E. and Mr. McAfee (from South Park), "Drugs are bad, m'kay?"

6 comments:

DrTweeker said...

Here's for all your clubkids:

http://www.ecstasydata.org/results.php

Might come in handy - who knows. has the most common 1500 MDMA (or other that pretend to be MDM) tablets

Big 'N Tasty RPH said...

Thanks DrTweeker! I know that site will come in handy.....

DanTech said...

Sometimes our software won't give the pharmacist a result. It can also be a problem getting an accurate description of the pill from the patient over the phone. "It is sort of roundish, squarish, triangle shape with a reddish greenish shiny color and squiggle mark on it." Uhh...

In those cases the pharmacist just gives them the number to poison control.

Jaded Rx Intern said...

I hate those phone calls. 99 times out of 100 it's oxycodone, oxycodone/apap, hydrocodone/apap, propoxyphene/apap, etc.

I once had a person call to ID a mystery tablet. I asked her to describe the tablet, and she said, "It's, kinda round, kinda Darvocetty..." Shockingly enough, it was generic Darvocet. I got off the phone and nearly died laughing...

The Ole' Apothecary said...

The best tool I've used for drug delivery system identification is IdentaDrug (www.identdrug.com), a service of The Pharmacist's Letter. I just renewed my subscription for another three years. I am able to ID about 99.99% of the tablets and capsules presented to me. Also good is the ID function on the Clinical Pharmacology (Gold Standard) site.

Anonymous said...

Used to be in pharmacy school...many years ago...pharmacy students were required to memorize identifying markings on tablets...of course, it was easier then...tablet identification and drug company phone numbers/addresses are the two reasons to keep around a PDR I can think of ... F & C has color photo inserts, too, but online is usually much faster, unless you're working relief in a drugstore that doesn't have GoldStandard or access to internet... Most towns have at least community hospitals with pharmacies that can access Identidex (Poisindex), also.