Dr. Coleman is an assistant professor of pharmacy practice and director of the pharmacoeconomics and outcomes studies group at the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy.
NG, a 21-year-old college student, presents to an urban sexually transmitted disease clinic complaining of burning and spontaneous, purulent urethral discharge. He admits to having unprotected sex about a week ago. NG’s doctor makes the diagnosis of gonococcal urethritis and explains to him that an injection of an antibiotic called ceftriaxone (125 mg) will be needed to cure the infection. A few minutes later, a nurse returns, administers the injection, and hands NG a prescription for doxycycline 100 mg twice daily for 7 days. Somewhat confused, NG takes the prescription and brings it to the pharmacy to be filled. NG explains to the pharmacist that he was just treated for gonorrhea with “a shot of antibiotics” and asks, “Why do I need to take more antibiotics? Won’t the shot work?”
How should the pharmacist respond?
PN comes to the counter seeking advice with his 14-year-old daughter who has been experiencing dull pain in her lower abdomen. PN brings aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen to the counter and asks which is best for his daughter. The daughter mumbles something about her friend using Midol and wonders if that would be better. Upon questioning by the pharmacist, the daughter states that her period started yesterday and that this “crampy” pain is worse during the first 2 days of her period. She also notes that she is not sexually active and that similar symptoms have occurred right around the time of her period for the last 4 months.
What advice should the pharmacist provide?
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