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Date of last update: 9/5/2017.

Forum Name: Pharmacy & Drug Topics

Question: Prescription Substitution by Pharmacist - a bad thing?

 Pbrandao81 - Sun Mar 02, 2008 3:21 pm

I know pharmacists can give you a different drug then what the prescription designated like a generic version of the same drug, but is there any time when that can be a bad thing, like i recently saw a doctor and he mentioned he had to call an infectious disease specialist to find out what to give me in my specific case(diagnoses - Pneumonia, History - Splenectomy ), then when i got the prescriptions filled both were substitutes? should i go back to the doctor to make sure that I'm getting what i need?the doctor was an ER doctor I don't have a primary care physician?
 Debbie Miller, RN - Wed Mar 05, 2008 11:53 am

User avatar In almost every case the generic equivalent is exactly what your doctor ordered - identical in formulation, not really a substitute of another drug. There are rare cases when a particular brand name seems to work better for someone, or may be smaller in size, but in antibiotics you can be quite confident that these will be perfectly fine.

If the doctor only wanted you to have the brand name, he/she could have indicated that on the prescription. There is a place for them to check if generic substitution is OK or not. If it were significant the doctor would most likely have made that distinction.

Best wishes.
 Pbrandao81 - Sat Mar 08, 2008 2:45 pm

thank you very much for the reply, I figured as much which is why i didn't go back to the doctor, but i still felt it merited a little asking around, and your answer backed by your credentials has put me at ease, thank you
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:14 pm

User avatar Hello Pbrandao81,

This is a great question that many people wonder about and Debbie is absolutely correct. I'll add that the pharmacists are not allowed to make any substitutions other than substituting generic for brand name (so it is actually the same medicine) without getting the prescribing physicians permission to do so.

Best wishes.

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