And now for the most difficult part of my opthalmic journey.
My fill-in, emergency opthalmologist did a good thing and a bad thing.
Good thing: She noted my allergies aloud from my file, then used her phone to look up the active ingredient(s) of a medicine I was using. I had a prescription from my dermatologist that I was using on my flaky eyelids and surrounding skin, in the hopes that the skin would respond like my non-eye skin does — with healing and non-flaky, normal appearance. I was on board with ceasing use of my current treatment because it wasn’t giving quick results.
Bad thing: She did not look up the ingredients of the prescription she gave me for the skin surrounding my eyes. She demonstrated that she had access to ingredient lists and proclaimed that I was allergic to lanolin minutes earlier. She also sent me home with a sample of an eye drop medication.
The prescription was available at just one pharmacy, which I would never have chosen to buy from anyway. I have always had bad customer service on the retail side, but since it’s near my child’s school, I’ll pop in once in a while. I bought the medicine. My husband had me look at the ingredient list when I opened the box, and there it was in black and white — lanolin alcohol. I called the doctor’s office. I told the nurse that I couldn’t take the medicine because it contained lanolin. She said she’d work on it. She called me and reported the pharmacist was looking for an alternative.
My allergy is rare, and I thought my issue could be a board of ethics case. I called a friend who works for a state pharmacist group. She said that prescribing medications that patients are allergic to happens more often that you know. Frightening, isn’t it?
I later learn (days later) from the nurse that the pharmacist claimed that the PDR (Physicians Desk Reference) lists only active ingredients, but he obviously had access to ingredient lists because he found a lanolin-free medication for me the same day as my appointment. At over $150, I declined it and decided to use Aveeno lotion on my eyelids. As far as I can tell, the doctor was not alerted that she wrote a bad prescription. The nurse was trying to handle the situation on her own.
Have you ever gotten a bad prescription?